In his second book to appear in this country, the French novelist Emmanuel Carrere recounts the trials--and mostly the terrors--of a ten-year-old boy named Nicholas. The setting appears harmless enough: as the story opens, Nicholas is being dropped off at a skiing school in the country. The most he has to fear, it seems, is his penchant for bedwetting. But soon the small humiliations and anxieties mount up. The two-week holiday becomes an exercise in pure dread, and Carrere's subtractive style ensures that the reader will never know quite enough about what's going on.