A somewhat jauntier figure than Brian Moore's schoolteacher (The Feast of Lupercal) or spinster (The Lonely Passion of Judith Hearne) is Ginger Coffey, Irish born, who now in Canada hopes to achieve some of the dreams of glory which have kept him from growing up or settling down. Or so it would at first seem- but soon it is evident, except to Ginger, that he is a ""man running uphill against hope, his shins kicked, his luck running out"", as has his money. His nattering wife, Veronica, finally decides to leave him- with their daughter, Paulie, and there is a younger man anxious to have her. Ginger takes the only job he can get, as a proofreader on the night shift of the local (Montreal) paper, with the assurance that he will soon become a reporter. By day, he goes to work as a driver for a diaper service and he promises to make a home for Paulie, now anxious to join him. Tormented by his desires for Veronica, taunted by Paulie, he is ready to lose them both to his last big dream- the promotion on the paper, and only when completely disgraced is he ready to settle for the humbler ""circs"" that most men have long since accepted as their fate. If Ginger has learned to compromise, so too has Brian Moore, and this third book, with its tempered finale, is less devastating than the earlier ones. But man's inadequacy and failure again provides a lesson in vivisection, demonstrated with small, stabbing cuts and wounds. This is often painful to witness, confirming this writer's sharp effectiveness at the expense perhaps of the audience he deserves.