Soft, poetic and yet alternately frank and naturalistic remembrance of things past as years of boyhood are seen in retrospect. There are passages of quite lovely prose, though the book is free of the sentimentality which characterizes some books of the type. The boy George lives in a small California village; his friends include the bartender's son, a Mexican kid, an Indian half breed who runs the gang and Betsy, half tomboy, half budding woman, with whom he investigates the facts of life. At 17 the gang breaks up, class consciousness creeps in. The boys have been shown in all their cruelty and vulnerability. Not for a wide sale -- but well done.