According to the Sunday Times, Braziller lawyers had to search every nook and cranny of composer Ned Rorem's manuscript to insure against the possibility of libel. It is not difficult to understand why after reading many of the intimate disclosures Rorem penned concerning the haut monde circle he inhabited during the early Fifties. These are very personal, very indiscreet notebooks, in which many famous musical, literary, and social figures undergo exposure very nearly just short of scandal. But the most formidable revelations are reserved for the diarist himself, who with a kind of cool narcissistic abandon describes his drinking sprees, unorthodox love affairs, careerist scrimmages, fraudulent friendships, and merry-go-round decadence. Of course, the usual standards of morality rarely enter these pages, and such absence, coupled with the author's unabashed amour propre, give the book its peculiar, perverse, slightly idiotic charm. Rorem has made himself his own hero, replete with youth, fantastic good looks, and professional success of sorts. James' International Theme and Gidean night thoughts seem to be turned upside down as a prolonged self-advertisement dallies with the gambols, philosophic nosegays, and gossipy destructiveness of a fascinating Yankee arriviste.