Oo la la! Remember when a French novel was only one kind of novel? Well this is that kind of novel, a sentimental frippery about the life and love of Captain Georges which begins in indulged, aristocratic circumstances--Parma violets and pate de foie gras and petits fours. And Nancy, his nursegirl, a memory not easily forgotten. His sexual initiation is furthered as it should be with the help of his father who takes him to his first bordello (filles de joie, poules de luxe and cocottes move in and out of the notebooks in a chorus line) and there's Gilberte, on black silk sheets. But then there's the war, when he meets Agnes, in another brothel, Agnes who teaches him the meaning of love (and gives him a dose), Agnes with whom he knows ""total harmony,"" Agnes whom he cannot marry because she is married and sufficiently religious to refuse the escape of divorce, and Agnes with whom he lives for ten years before her husband turns up and he loses her to Emilien and to tuberculosis.... Volupte--through a spindrift nostalgia.