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A Sport and a Pastime (1967)

af James Salter

MedlemmerAnmeldelserPopularitetGennemsnitlig vurderingOmtaler
1,1054013,411 (3.55)14
Salter chronicles a love affair between a young shopgirl and an American college dropout against the backdrop of provincial France.
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Engelsk (37)  Hebræisk (1)  Fransk (1)  Spansk (1)  Alle sprog (40)
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Tonight, I finished James Salter’s A Sport and a Pastime, which was fascinating from how he wrote of the relationships between the man and the woman at the center of the book. But even more uniquely impressive was how he wrote about the strength of their sensual and sexual experiences and feelings. It made me think of watching my late wife— which as a survivor I find myself thinking about constantly—and how sensual watching your love doing anything can become.

There is such a truth and honesty when Salter wrote the following. “She stands naked, her legs together, brushing her teeth before the sink. Dean is watching her carefully. From where he sits, he reaches out and touches her. There is no authority in the gesture. It is an act of reassurance—he is fixing her reality.” And again, when he wrote this. “Dean makes love to her with great tenderness, kissing her shoulders, listening to her breath. It’s as if he’s never done it before. He tries to memorize her. His hands touch her carefully. His lips form reverent phrases.”

The passion expressed in his writing was so strong, tender, and real. Then, I thought of how badly written, how mechanical and cold most sex scenes are written. It is as if they are writing more about alienation and detachment, like a lonely late-night visit to a porn site online. I know some writers are intending for this lack of any feeling, no connection other than mechanical, but I think the rest are just incapable of describing anything sensual. It also makes me wonder at what age males in our culture are able to figure out the differences between, and the beauty of, the sexual and the sensual.

This book stunned me with how deep it reached into me and moved me. Yet, early in my reading, I found my mind wandering some. It was only after he wrote of the sensual side of his characters, made them so human, that I became fascinated by his use of the language, and the book has become more and more powerful every time I think of it. This was easily one of the most sensual books I’ve ever read. ( )
  jphamilton | Dec 14, 2020 |
The wonderful lyrical passages, little observations or more expansive bits of fancy, were the best part of this book. The idea that these characters were romantic heroes in any way, as stated in the last scenes, did not resonate with me at all. The protagonist Dean just seemed like a 1960s version of a slacker, free of responsibility, bugging his family and friends for money to support his aimless life centered on lots of sex with his girlfriend. They drive around a lot, eat in restaurants, have a few quarrels, but never seem to mind that they don't have any real interests, just some vague ideas of marriage and settling down. I could guess from the start how likely that was going to turn out.
I'd read Salter's Solo Faces previously and while I had some problems with that novel, I think I prefer it to this earlier one, even though I think the author thought that this was the only one he considered a successful work. ( )
  rmagahiz | Jul 9, 2020 |
In 1960s France the unnamed narrator tells of the relationship between his American friend, Dean Phillips, and a French girl named Anne-Marie. There are erotic scenes but the story stands on it's own. Like Americans before and after, they discover France, fall in love, and flirt with staying. The narrator repeatedly hints that the story may be totally false, or not. No matter, the writing is very good. ( )
  Hagelstein | Dec 30, 2019 |
Blew my mind. Only words to describe this. ( )
  kvschnitzer | Dec 8, 2019 |
I really liked this novel. Salter's prose is crisp and interesting, his narrative choices are unusual and, frankly, the erotica is hot. ( )
  Adrian_Astur_Alvarez | Dec 3, 2019 |
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Salter chronicles a love affair between a young shopgirl and an American college dropout against the backdrop of provincial France.

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