The 1960s. Philip Dean, a footloose Yale dropout, is touring provincial France and sometimes Paris in a borrowed, once elegant car. He begins a mismatched affair with a young shop girl named Anne-Marie. Together they burn in an everyday but stunningly sensual paradise. A Sport and A Pastime established James Salter's reputation as one of the finest writers of our time. It is remarkable for its eroticism, its luminous prose and its ability to explore the boundaries between what is dreamt and what is lived, between body and soul.
The seductive classic that established Salter's reputation as one of the finest prose stylists of our time
A great literary novel but also the most erotic book ever written -- Jonathan Dee Financial Times 'A Sport and a Pastime ... Slender, cynical and bruisingly sexy, the novel represents the first full flowering of [Salter's] mature style; his exquisite sentences and extraordinary evocation of place. Daily Telegraph 'Now deemed canonical ... A Sport and a Pastime [is] still one of the most intensely honest books about sexual passion.' Sunday Times A tour de force of erotic realism, a romantic cliffhanger New York Times He has written three books that everyone should read before they die: A Sport and a Pastime, Light Years, and his recollections, Burning the Days Independent 'Two of his previous novels [including] A Sport and a Pastime, from 1967, are regarded as classics ... The writer Reynolds Price also thought A Sport and a Pastime "perfect",' Irish Times One of the finest American writers of his mighty generation Esquire He has written three books that everyone should read before they die: A Sport and a Pastime, Light Years and his recollections, Burning the Days Independent Salter is the contemporary writer most admired and envied by other writers ... He can, when he wants, break your heart with a sentence Washington Post A Sport and a Pastime is as nearly perfect as any American fiction I know -- Reynolds Price James Salter's writing has always provoked in me a kind of evangelical admiration. It is sheer brute magic. His prose is exquisite, sentences created with such acuity and efficacy it seems he re-forges language itself, makes it more purposeful and beautiful -- Sarah Hall Robert Frost said that the hope of any poet is to lodge a few poems so deep they couldn't be dislodged, and James Salter has done that again and again. He has become an indelible presence in our literature -- Tobias Wolff Observer To read Salter's work is always to embark on a journey through a life lived - the beautiful and the colourless, the tragic and the sustaining ... exceptional fiction that cuts to our most cherished and at times most private truths. Read him when you can, his novels about sex and flying and war and love - those moments that should outshine all others - and your own world, your own moments worth remembering will appear all the brighter for it GQ
James Salter is the author of numerous books, including the novels Solo Faces, Light Years, A Sport and a Pastime, The Arm of Flesh (revised as Cassada), The Hunters and All That Is; the memoirs Gods of Tin and Burning the Days; the collections Dusk and Other Stories, which won the 1989 PEN/Faulkner Award, and Last Night, which won the Rea Award for the Short Story and the PEN/Malamud Award; and Life Is Meals: A Food Lover's Book of Days, written with Kay Salter. He lives in New York and Colorado.