Fred Landon has been around longer than his Weekend Man (1971) -- he's trapped in the middle of his life, his gears frozen in reverse -- he might even seem to be losing ground. A would-have-been-author and greeting card pusher for eleven years, Landon's been out of a job for seven months and the market for ""poetic salesmen is not large."" Once married to the thin-nosed, sharp-tongued Vera, he has lost her for good in both senses of the term after one of her emasculating ""Mister Writer"" scenes. True he's always been ""an agreeable type who found it hard to say nay"" -- exposed to situations which demand a less passive approach: a father fretfully ending his days in an institution; a daughter supposedly at college until she splits; and finally Margaret, a substantial, rather old-fashioned ""woman of sorrow"" who unintentionally implicates him once again in the whole business of living. Wright has fashioned the kind of character who would have been comfortable, that's to say uncomfortable, in a de Vries or Moynahan novel -- his experiences have belied his earlier anticipations. He has also written a novel filled with great humor, affection, regret -- they're all part of Wright's talented equipment along with those appropriate small touches which heighten the sense of character, and contact.