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Alec Rackowe succeeds best in suggesting the spirit of a time and place, here the 1920's in New York, to which all the bright young men from Yale resorted as their playground first, their breadbasket later. Lloyd Byron comes up from Florida at sixty-three to be an honorary pallbearer for his best friend, Wiart Robson, and it is the story of their relationship that is central here. Lloyd had been on the social scene in Yale days (he was personable, playing a mean piano); Wiart rode out of the West to make top deb Peggy Vansittart and equally fine financial prospects with aplomb. There was the Plaza, the Ritz, there were the Bergdorf models (in particular Lissa, whose fortune and fate they made) and Altman shop girls (Lloyd had an unfulfilled passion for the teasing and married Millarde). Then came the Crash, and with it (and Peggy's somehow getting Lloyd into bed with her when he was stoned) the breakup of mutual trust between Wiart and Lloyd (whose loss was ""more than that of a man. An ideal""). Lloyd went to Florida; Wiart eventually made him a millionaire by buying the now (post Korea) valuable island property Lloyd had once picked up for five hundred dollars. In the resolve, Lloyd meets Helen, Wiart's daughter, and learns how much their friendship meant to Wiart. This is all as easy to read as a twenties tune is to listen to, without the haunting refrain.

Publisher: Macmillan