A Sport and a Pastime by James Salter

‘The more clearly one sees this world, the more one is obliged to pretend it does not exist.’

A beautifully written book set in provincial France during the ’60s about a relationship between an American Yale dropout and a young French girl. Salter’s writing is short, sharp and illuminating with it’s descriptions. Unlike other older novels, this book isn’t flowery in it’s wording, which is refreshing.

A Sport and a Pastime by James SalterI choose this book for book club after a couple of the ladies who had read that book, where wanting to read more saucy literature, but without the terrible writing. They wanted something adult with a good plot, good writing and without the cliches. I came across this one on The First Tuesday Book Club and each panel member made it sound so delicious that I figured this would be exactly what the girls wanted. I was right. We all loved the book.

The story is told by a rather unreliable narrator, a friend of the young American in the relationship who sees only parts of their relationship and makes up the other parts. The reader is never entirely sure what is dreamworld and which is truth, but if you can ignore that and take the story at face value, it’s beautiful.

Not a bad way to end book club for the year.

Here’s what the First Tuesday Book Club had to say about it.

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