SPECIAL PEOPLE by Jacques Serguine


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A free-swinging, poetic and very young novel about the equally young and unattached set in France. The boy, Serguine, a would-be writer whose book this is, annotates lengthy conversations of half-baked philosophy, love affairs with older women, and delicate experiments in feeling with a girl of fifteen. His friends, who have no visible means of support except perhaps parent, are equally irresponsible and amoral. Serguine himself, in one night, undertakes a couple of seductions as well as several other attempts from which he emerges with Brigitte, who becomes his roommate for several months until the group meets again on the Riviera. In this last, long section, however, the book gains sudden meaning. The half-familiar faces emerge with brutal force; the quarrels, love affairs, amorality come into focus. These youngsters are not vicious, like their American peer group, and certainly not stupid. In the interim between childhood and maturity they live intensely, violently. Finally, when Serguine's best friend drives himself over a cliff, the end of an era is reached. He has stopped playing.... The immature excesses in the writing are redeemed by this- and chiefly by a cruel, poetic, powerful sense of what it is like to be physically, and emotionally, young. Special.

Pub Date: April 6th, 1961
Publisher: Farrar, Straus & Cudahy