By a short story writer of considerable experience (and largely New Yorker magazine appearance- later collected in book form) this is a first novel and one that is at all times civilized in its awareness, sharp in its dialogue, and possibly personal in its derivation. New York- and the publishing house of Larry Holland (largely given over to the left bank) backgrounds the experiences of Neil Miller, another young man of good will and lost bearings. Here are Neil and Larry, as they buck up against the party lines of Walter Lanning and Jack Kinkaid who are more interested in propaganda than merchandise; as Larry has an affair with Lanning's wife, Maxine, whose enfant terrible capers end more seriously in her suicide; and as Neil has an affair with Linda, Larry's wife, but does not marry her before he is drafted. With the war, Linda marries another man, and on their return Neil and Larry find only in the foreordained pattern of the military a little surface security... Even in the face of particular publisher enthusiasm, this is still for more sophisticated, selective tastes.