Particularly ironic in view of its now posthumous publication, Hecht is seen in this presumably last book as a man bedevilled by the death of his companions, and the purple which remains in his writing is finally deservedly there. His style has come around to his material; there is not a scintilla of slickness. Now that all his friends have died, his particular divine afflatus hits the right note in these reminiscences of Max Bodenheim, Charles MacArthur, Gene Fowler, H.L. Mencken, Sherwood Anderson, George Grosz and George Antheil. Though he knew them all intimately, Hecht acknowledges a certain mystery in each which escapes him. The memoir here consists of a character profile of each, followed by letters to him from his subjects. The best piece is on Fowler, which has an interior quality Hecht only begins to match again with Bogie (Bodenheim). At times he admits he is only grasping for the past which eludes him now as readily as when he lived it. But there is enough truth and russet writing in each piece to satisfy anyone who has experienced the death of a good friend, and the added regret of having him vanish from memory.