Most of all, he loved that inside the covers of books resided the last vestiges of a lost world. They had survived the long winters on the surface, trapped beneath rubble or buried in bunkers, when their authors had not. The tragedy of it lent an air of melodrama to their splendid adventures. Even as a child, Ferdinand recognized in them a rare fellowship. Here were his compatriots, for they suffered from his same affliction: together, they were wholly, completely alone.