If one was asked to find a central theme melding the episodes recounted here together, it would probably be the insecurity of the Jew in modern society. For the author has taken a somewhat rundown, middle class apartment house in Brooklyn, where the majority of the tenants are Jewish, and has torn away the pretenses, the upholstery of their lives, showing them up in their uncertainties, their pretensions, their tragedies. Here are no great dramas, but rather little ones of small peoples- the adolescent who is convinced that, once he gets rid of his pimples, he will be irresistible to the girls; the young married woman whose neurosis stems back to violation in a concentration camp- and forward to a deep-rooted determination to wreak revenge on a member of the Teutonic race; a middle aged husband and father, disillusioned with his wife, seeking romance-and thinking to find it with his son's date; a nephew of a kindly couple who is terrorized by two things,- his fear that he is a ""queer"" and his dread lest his social pretensions be destroyed by a visit from his peasant mother; a Jewish girl married to a Christian boy, who is afraid to bring a child into a troubled world; a Negro superintendent and his wife, haunted by dread of an alcoholic wastrel of a son. These and others provide the cast for a panorama of a sort of half-world, as they work out their problems in their different ways. There's a haunting quality to the telling; a depressing element in the conception.