The book from which they made the movie. Jean-Claude (25) and his younger curly-haired sidekick Pierrot (20) steal cars, wallets, and occasionally people with such careless ease, offhand viciousness, and stoical acceptance of their probable fate that the pettiness of their journey becomes lost in the exhilaration and humor of those found only on the edge of society and/or the grave. They view the world with the twisted clarity of Celine, share women with the brio of Jules and Jim, and meet their end with stunning grace -- all the while sharing a love occasionally and casually. Their women are surprisingly willing (if not always enthusiastic) -- from a hairdresser's assistant (originally a hostage), to the daughter of a petit bourgeois in whose summer house they once took an uninvited winter vacation, to a released older lady con whom they treat with the glaring sentimentality of the cruel. This is an offbeat, unforgettable novel -- fast-paced, engrossing, narrated with the implicit knowledge of the unjustly damned in a world where punishment fits but always exceeds the crime.