An unpleasant little item- a neurotic bit which manages to combine various sorts of morbid pathological aspects in the raising of a solitary pathetic small boy. Left to the whims of an austerely strict Catholic grandmother in Vienna, by parents who are separated, he is coddled by his governess, sees his mother in secret, and when- in confession- he pours out the terrors of this deceit, he is virtually exiled to a German military school, during the first World War. For a time the professor with whom he lived made it bearable- then that security was dispelled when his guardian was accused of homosexuality, and he was trust into school dormitory life, with its perversions and obsessions and fears, its cruelties, its rigors. Matthias becomes ill- is sent home believing himself an incurable heart case, approaches a normal relation to life in a happy boy-and-girl affair, only to be sworn to accept the vocation of priesthood at his grandmother's deathbed. Then more distortions- even going so far as arson in his bitterness- and saved at the end by the same Dr. Vincent who had sheltered him at school. Unpalatable.