One of the most startling literary debuts of all time, now in Penguin Black Classics.
Raymond Radiguet was born near Paris in 1903. He dropped out of his lycee in order to pursue his interests in journalism and literature, and associated himself with the Modernist set, befriending Picasso, Max Jacob, Jean Hugo, Juan Gris and especially Jean Cocteau, who became his mentor. His first novel, Le Diable au corps (The Devil in the Flesh), was published in 1923 and became a runaway bestseller in France. Radiguet died of typhoid fever the same year, at the age of twenty. His second novel, Le bal du Comte d'Orgel (Count d'Orgel's Ball) was published posthumously in 1924.
This young prodigy of a French writer was so shrewd, so ruthless,
glittering and clever, so full of dawning marvel at the ways of the
world, so freshly observant, that every page he wrote was a delight
-- Fay Weldon
Passages of delirious sensuality ... so assured that one wonders how he would have written in maturity * Guardian *
A masterpiece -- Jean Cocteau