A difficult book to report. Not an easy book to read. It is likely to have an important critical reception. It may have an intellectual snob appeal market. A provocative interesting attempt -- which falls short of being an achievement -- to make money the sole source of action, the sole protagonist. Through the ramifications of the financial transactions of a Parisian bank those involved with the money passing through the hands of the head, Bertillon, form part of the list of characters. But the story is the frantic vortex -- gold coming, gold vanishing, gold affecting politics, society, principles. Bertillon is the symbol of the meteoric rise and fall of money power. The crash of the bank at the and is the climax of this study ofaworld force.