A witty and thoroughly enchanting autobiographical saga of youth in the '20's and early '30's, illuminated by portraits of some lovely ladies, kind or unkind, but all fair, beautiful and beckoning. Here is the breezy youth of the '20's with his legacy of innocence in the days before the shadows fall on the hapless Holden Caulfields of the '40's. Seager's story has a generosity of impulse, a bravura born of high spirits rather than blight, an expansiveness, and a spirited testing of limitations rather than a self-imposed paralysis. Among the ladies-- a Memphis belle to whom was dedicated a swimming medal and two dozen roses without petals; a ""hopelessly old"" Smith girl; girls at college (Michigan) round as Northern Spy apples; a Garbo-like intellectual who wanders to the Village, poverty and Russia; a Gide-reading, deadly calm sister of a ruling gangster family; and a middle-aged actress who choked on frat house gin. The corporeal ladies dissolve and the Muse takes over after a Rhodes scholarship to Oxford, but there are still some literally stunning drinking sessions. Finally a bout with t.b. in America, a return to England and back home once more, and a savagely unhappy acquaintance who represents the ""first nasty little tendril of the Depression"" and the new era to come. Although the tone is light, there are somber moments (the death of a pioneering grandfather, a sordid Southern murder) and, in all, this is a telling portrait of the youth of a man and a generation.