'It's only after our death that we shall really be able to hear'. The measured tone of hopeless nihilism that pervades "The Counterfeiters" quickly shatters any image of Andre Gide as the querulous and impious Buddha to a quarter-century of intellectuals. In sharp and brilliant prose a seedy, cynical and gratuitously alarming narrative is developed, involving a wide range of otherwise harmless and mainly middle-to-upper-class Parisians. But the setting could be anywhere. From puberty through adolescence to death, "The Counterfeiters" is a rare encyclopedia of human disorder, weakness and despair.