Saturday, July 18, 2015

A Sport and a Pastime - Book Review

Published in 1967
A Sport and a Pastime - James Salter B
The French Connection

A Sport and a Pastime is a great title and one of my all-time favorite book covers. However, immediately after I finished the novel I wasn't sure if I liked it, or if I just liked the sex (which is very poetic if not a little misogynistic). I didn't necessarily feel any connection with the characters, although they were definitely intriguing. The story's narrator, a nameless American living in France, is the omniscient guide to what becomes an erotic journey between Dean, a "coolguy" Yale drop-out and Ann-Marie, a nineteen year-old French sexpot with bad breathe. This novel was a slow burn, yet once it seeped into my head I found it hard to think of anything else. The tone of A Sport and a Pastime is slightly reminiscent of The Great Gatsby (one of my favorites). Furthermore, The way Salter wrote about sex was inspiring and compelling. The way he wrote about race, not so much. Nonetheless, this well-written sexcapade is interesting and highly worthwhile.

For more on this novel check out this great piece by Alexander Chee

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