A frothy account of Paris’s underbelly as told by a heartwarming, but quite pathetic wayfarer. Victor Baton, an injured WWI veteran living on a meager pension, searches Paris high-and-low on a simple mission: to find a friend. “Just one friend” he tells himself again and again. We read through a catalog of bewildering encounters—just when Victor seems to have finally pressed against someone in friendship, he pulls back, souring the potential relationship. Melancholically told, though very funny, Emmanuel Bove’s My Friends is assuredly one of the quiet, smallish (like its narrator) masterpieces of 20th century fiction.