Herbert Gold's stories have appeared in the little magazines, a collection was published by Viking, and a novel The Prospect Before Us (World) appeared last year. Even so, one is led to assume that the avant-garde is not putting its best foot forward; if he is a writer of talent, he is certainly one of few sensibilities. There is an unhealthy magnification of the physical topography of the human body- pore by pore and follicle by follicle. Much of his prose, when it gets beyond the description of anatomical surface characteristics, is contused and confused: ""Boggling my father and Phyl, ambiguously loosened but unfree, the stiff-limbed gestures of the suburb were my only trust"". Unboggling-down to the story here- it deals with Bud Williams, a carnie grifter, and the lessons learned from an older man- Grack, who not only helps to kick the dope habit, but also teaches him ""Be with it and for it"". Bud Williams goes home, to his father, for a time, but his debt to Grack and the knowledge that he is in trouble brings him back to the carnie-where he marries young, recently developed Joy, the palmist's daughter. Grack turns up- he has not kicked the habit- and is wanted for robbery and homicide- and so with Joy (who miscarries en route) Bud fulfills his old obligation to Grack and gets him across to the Canadian.....Could be we're not for it because we're not with it, but there will be many to find it a thoroughly tasteless and distasteful experience.