Books: The Upper Depths

THE BYSTANDER (205 pp.)—Albert J. Guerard—Little, Brown ($3.75).

At some point of adolescence, every schoolboy falls distantly in love with an actress. Few do as complete a job as Anthony, the downbeat narrator of this new novel, who carries the torch for his actress over a stretch of 18 years and then, lamentably, achieves gratification.

Even as a schoolboy, Anthony is an odd one: an American with a background of wealth and parental indifference attending a Parisian lycee. At 15, eating ice cream and plum cake in a tearoom near the Madeleine, Anthony finds the...

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