In May 1927, Dinu Grigorescu, aged nineteen, a skinny boy of literary ambition, is newly arrived in Paris. He has been sent from Bucharest, the city of his childhood, by his generous, wealthy father to embark upon a bohemian adventure and enjoy the unique pleasures of Parisian life. From a distance of forty years, Dinu's memoir of his brief spell in Paris is one of discovery and love. An innocent in a new city, still grieving the sudden loss of his beloved mother Elena seven years earlier, Dinu is guided in la vie de Boh me by a distant cousin, Eduard, charged with his care. But drawn tentatively, secretly, to the Bains du Ballon d'Alsace, a notorious place rumoured to provide the men of Paris, married or otherwise, who enjoy something different, everything they crave, Dinu met Razvan, a 'beast beyond compare'. A fellow Romanian, the adopted child of a man of refinement - a prince's boy - whose stories of Proust and other artists entranced Dinu, Razavan would become the young man's teacher in the ways of the world. This exquisite account of love is a work of extraordinary sensual delicacy, every sentence exemplary, from one of our most celebrated writers.