The sexual odyssey of a hopeless romantic from the author of the legendary bestseller The Ginger Man—"a comic writer rivaling Waugh and Wodehouse" (Life). In the years before and after World War II, Balthazar B is the world's last shy, elegant young man. Born to riches in Paris, and raised by his governess, the honeyed and solicitous Miss Hortense, Balthazar is shipped away to prep school in England—where he is befriended by the noble but flagrantly naughty Beefy. Together, Balthazar and Beefy matriculate to Trinity College, Dublin. There, Balthazar reads zoology and Beefy prepares for Holy Orders, all the while sharing amorous adventures high and low until their university careers come to an abrupt and decidedly unholy end. Out of the cocooned, innocent sexuality of Balthazar B, J. P. Donleavy—one of the most vital, and often condemned, comic voices of the twentieth century—created "one of the most perfect love affairs in modern literature . . . revelatory and delightful . . . lush and lovely, bawdy and sad" (The New York Times). "If Nancy Mitford and James Joyce had collaborated, the result might have been like the adventures of Balthazar B." —The Guardian
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