I recently read James Salter’s new novel All That Is.  It was a strange reading experience.  It is beautiful and at the same time disorienting and unsettling.  But then that has been my experience of reading most of Salter’s work.  His characters are complex, intelligent, sophisticated, and subtle, and their behaviors are fascinating (if occasionally appalling).  But underneath the worldly layer of the things they do, say, think, and feel, and underneath all their passions, we sense a vast and terrible emptiness, an inescapable void that is at the heart of human nature.

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