This is no easier to read than The Power House, and will probably be no easier to forget. After three years, the strange story of the power plant in a Channel village in Occupied France is still vivid, down to tiny details. And so will the details of this grim picture of the ghetto closing in on a terrified group of Jews living in a part of a North African town, as the Germans come, relentless in their scorn of the Italians who were in possession. Into the quarter come the peasants- animals in their terror, their ignorance. And confusion reigns. Schmul, newly returned to face the challenge with his people, though the choice had been his to go instead to America, tries, with a few others, to organize the limited supply of space, of food, of water, for the over- surfeited humanity, as the ghetto shuts down again, the walls are guarded, exit forbidden. One has a sense of creatures maddened by past and present- rather than of men. And yet bits of story, bits of personality, come through. Finally, the Germans retreat- the British come- Schmul hopes things will be better. But he still has only his Jewishness at stake. His family, his people, his city are matters of indifference. And at the end, he leaves, secretly, bribing his carrier -- as he had come. Comfort has written only one other novel- and a considerable amount of poetry. He is not an easy writer.