left diversion with serious overtones, The Egoists takes up the destinies of a group of bachelors gathered at luncheon in Rome in 1946. D'Alessio, the forty-five year old industrialist, is the first to marry--the young Isabella, still an unknown quantity to herself. Thirty-year-old physicist Roberto Fauni follows, taking the lovely Swedish Jeanne as his coolly elected mate. The disappointment of the two women in their loves becomes a central concern, as Isabella turns to a liaison with the handsome young man of letters. Marcello Rudov, offering him a love which inspires him to create but also to withhold himself from her--until, unable to bear the solitude, he kills herself; and Jeanne, whose scientist husband has intelligence without understanding, succumbs to tuberculosis without reaching his soul. Roberto cannot learn from his grief; Marcello does, coming to an understanding through the ministrations of compassionate and intellectual young priest. The author maintains a light but determined philosophical skirmish here that gives spirit to his story.