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V. A Novel (original 1963; edition 1968)
Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0060930217, Paperback)Having just been released from the Navy, Benny Profane is content to lead a slothful existence with his friends, where the only real ambition is to perfect the art of "schlemihlhood," or being a dupe, and where "responsibility" is a dirty word. Among his pals--called the Whole Sick Crew--is Slab, an artist who can't seem to paint anything other than cheese danishes. But Profane's life changes dramatically when he befriends Stencil, an active ambitious young man with an intriguing mission--to find out the identity of a woman named V., who knew Stencil's father during the war, but who suddenly and mysteriously disappeared.
(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 14 Feb 2013 13:29:02 -0500)
"The Quest for V. sweeps us through sixty years and a panorama of Alexandria, Paris, malta, Florence, Africa and new York. But who, where, or what is V.? Bawdy, sometimes sad and frequently hilarious, V has become a modern classic."
(summary from another edition)
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