A NOVEL OF DESPERATE LOVE, BITTER HOPE, CHILLING COURAGE AND RELENTLESS BRAVERY
“THIS quietly terrible parable for our times was first published in France fifteen years ago and was awarded the Prix de Critiques. It was translated into fourteen languages, but not into English. Since then M. Gary has won international fame with several other books. Now an entirely rewritten and, M. Gary hopes, a much improved version of A EUROPEAN EDUCATION is published in English for the first time.
“A too hasty glance at A EUROPEAN EDUCATION might give the impression that no novel has ever borne a more sadly ironical title, because this is a story of innocence ‘educated’ in all the horrors and atrocities of modern war. But some of the graduates of the twentieth century’s school of despair learned something other than the subjects taught. They learned that man’s dream of freedom, of dignity and of love, is immortal; that his faith in a future without hatred cannot be destroyed.”—Orville Prescott in THE NEW YORK TIMES
“A EUROPEAN EDUCATION is a story of unmitigated privation and terror. But it is also the story of the human heart’s triumph over evil even in the exercise of evil.
“A EUROPEAN EDUCATION is about a group of partisans called the ‘green ones’ because they live in the forests of Poland. They hide in caves, steal food and sabotage every effort of the Germans.
“Before the book ends, the hero has become a man; he has killed; he has learned how to steal without being caught, how to make friends with the Germans whom he intends to kill, and how to love.
“The title is inherent in Janek’s bitter summing up of what he has learned; ‘...all this European education comes down to is to teach you how to find the courage to shoot a man who sits there with lowered head....’
“This may not be Romain Gary’s most popular book, but it is a little masterpiece and may prove to be his.”—THE CHICAGO TRIBUNE