The author of the hardhitting Casualty (New Directions-see P. 529) writes of a youthful dedication with energy, some feeling for autobiography, and a telling honesty. Robert Black, a laborer's son, in Cincinnati, is early to devote himself to reading, becomes a self-determined writer. He lives in the world of his characters; his writing attains greater maturity than he; his immaturity to live in reality spoils his contacts. An enraged visit to a psychiatrist and unusual honors at the University follow and then Bob is enmeshed by his infatuation for Nancy. With her he hitchhikes across the country only to lose her when she returns to her husband, while he continues the trip alone. Through the South he meets violence, intolerance, perversions, jail; at last in New York he comes into the knowledge he has never really escaped, that in all the worlds on the move, he is free only in his own home town....A realistic to natural self-exposure, in which posturing vies with sincerity, and the shell of authorship is broken by maturity. Exuberant vitality, some cutting satire, this reflects the writing period of the '20's, the midwest cultural scene as a background for a personal crusade. An interesting -- though by no means surely popular- book.