PETER VIERTEL

BOOKS

Bicycle on the Beach

Delacorte Press, 1971

(There is a Spanish language edition of this book published 2006)

Bicycle on the Beach

From the dustjacket: "A war was imminent and Hitler's dominion was growing. Set against this background of mounting tension comes an extraordinary and evocative reminiscence of a long ago love."

Excerpt from page 90:

"I'm not yelling at you." Reluctantly I got back into the Chevrolet.

Guy shook his head. "I don't know what's come over you," he said. "Rather, I do know." He pulled cautiously out onto the highway. "I've never seen you take a glass of wine before... not in all the times we've been invited to the Gordons'. If it happens again, I'll have to speak to your father."

"I don't give a goddamn if you do!" I said. I was tired of being treated like a child. In any case, my father was hardly the person to threaten me with, as he rarely intervened in matters of discipline. He had other things on his mind. I had a sudden moment of appreciation for the way he had always treated me. Even when I contradicted him, or disagreed out of stubborn ignorance, he had never talked down to me, never demanded respect or obedience because of his age, or because he was my father.

"I think you might show me a little respect," Guy said, pursing his thin lips. "I'm not one of your pals down the street."

"I apologize," I said mechanically. I didn't care. I would have said anything in order to put an end to the conversation. My mind had left the car and Guy a long time ago, was racing ahead. My father had been right. The place didn't matter. Only the people in it counted. How stupid I had been. I had disregarded what he said, had listened to him with one ear, believing him to be prejudiced because he had lost his own country. But he was right. "The world should be your country," he had said.

[Below: photo from the dusk jacket]

Peter Viertel

Thomas Kuhnke - Literary Representation

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