Class Trip ($19.95; Jan. 13, 1997; 176 pp.; 0-8050-4694-1): A subtle combination of noir mystery and metaphysical thriller by the acclaimed author of The Mustache (1988) and Gothic Romance (1990). It's the story of a French schoolboy, Nicholas, whose reluctant participation in a class skiing trip is crucially influenced by his father's cautionary tales of a world filled with mysterious dangers. Dark, threatening oaks from innocuous acorns grow in this bleak, economical rÇcit, which memorably climaxes in a fusion of fantasy and reality far more disturbing than Nicholas's worst imaginings. . . .