All That Is, James Salter, 2013

A leading American author writing his first book in many years at the age of 87 hits a home run.  Like Logan Mountstuart in Any Human Heart, Philip Bowman moves from childhood, through WWII, to Harvard, and New York City.  Bowman’s life is filled with fascinating and accessible women, leading to his final summary line:  “We’ll have a great time.”   In the course of this great time, Salter manages to explore the big question:  Why are we here?  Human connectedness, physical intimacy, fullness and finiteness of life.  A great sweep of a novel which unfortunately can be summarized as ‘have fun and then die.’