Affable autobiography from French novelist Tournier, author of Gemini, The Golden Droplet, Gilles and Jeanne, and The Fetishist. Tournier's taste for the risquÃ‰, the obsessive, and the perverse, apparent throughout his fiction, isn't at work here as he ranges back over his own childhood, education, and early career. What makes the project remarkable is Tournier's matter-of-fact style of reportage--a far cry from the ornamentation and obsessive detail of work such as The Golden Droplet. Tournier covers a childhood spent in Nazi-occupied France, a variety of schools that cramped his style, vaguely lunatic teachers, and middle-class domestic life. The story gets interesting with the author coming into his own at the Sorbonne, discovering philosophy, and moving in circles that included Gilles Deleuze. A hoped-for career in academe fell through; turning to broadcast journalism, Tournier brought with him a reverence for philosophy while he prepared radio pieces, knocked off thousands of pages of translations, and got to work as a novelist. Now firmly established as a major French author, Tournier says little about his current life, but rounds off with engaging commentary about his own work, including his admission that Gemini was inspired by a fascination for the ""super-flesh"" of twins, and his belief that mythology is the connecting link to metaphysics in his fiction. A sociable glance back, but mostly of interest to Tournier fans and scholars.