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Caracole by Edmund White

1985, Hardcover

"In French caracole means "prancing"; in English, "caper." Both words perfectly describe this high-spirited erotic adventure by a writer whose novels possess the athletic grace of grand ballet. In Caracole, Edmund White invents an entire world where country gentry languish in decaying mansions and foppish intellectuals exchange lovers and gossip in an occupied city that resembles both Paris under the Nazis and 1980s New York.

To that city comes Gabriel, an awkward boy from the provinces whose social naïveté and sexual ardor make him endlessly attractive to a variety of patrons and paramours. Together with his bewitching lover, Angelica, Gabriel navigates a glittering labyrinth of power and betrayal, snobbery and desire, in a novel that suggests a pas de deux between Nabokov and Balzac."

-from the author