The Pouncer

Julian Barnes

  • The Mystery of Georges Simenon by Fenton Bresler
    Heinemann, 259 pp, £8.95, February 1983, ISBN 0 434 98033 1

I’ve been having these bad dreams about David Plante recently. Sometimes, I am slumped on the lavatory, glued there by gin and self-pity; sometimes, I am watching The Sound of Music on television and bawling shameful tears; sometimes, I am driving bad-temperedly through the Tuscan countryside, railing foolishly at the world’s treatment of me. Always Mr Plante is at my side: on his face a winning smile, and behind his back a betraying notebook.

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