The author of The and the etc. in somewhat different vein, gives a glimpse behind the scenes of an abortive Central American revolution. Peter, court-martialed American Captain and war veteran, victim of a Spartan mother, tries to whip into shape General Alvarez' bare-toed army. Between dust-choked days on the parade ground are interludes with the General's daughter Elean that muddy the veiled suggestions of relations with her brother, Peter's friend Jose, whose death later is perhaps suicide. The General, his army chief Aranha and an ambitious priest emerge as types rather than individuals. De Cluny, self- appointed Talleyrand of these less than 100 days, is catapulted from his years of specious literary unproductiveness into a resumption of his writing career. The two American representatives of an almost mythical company, operating in the coastal banana lands, are found out in their short cut to the sure dollar. Well-written, with authentic atmosphere, there is an overall aura of futility in a jumbled mosaic of confused lives. Moderately exciting but not up to the mark of his earlier work.