To Brian Moore's folio of misfits, failures, casualties- from Judith Hearne to Ginger Coffey, you can now add Brendan Tierney, alitterateur manque, who at 29 ""can no longer coast along on promise"". He given up his job on a New York magazine to finish his book; he his wife Jane out to work; and he imports his mother from Ireland to take care of young Mrs. Tierney is even more homeless than ever in the bosom of her family; there is an awkward atmosphere of irreconcilable differences, disapproval and reproach. Brendan and Jane and their occasional friends (psychiatrists, intellectuals on the make, etc.) are goddes and she cannot bear the thought that Liam and Lisa, unbaptized in the faith, will end in limbo rather than heaven. Brendan however works feverishly on his book and no sacrifice seems too great: Jane to the ""dark ravisher"" of her fantasies she has a romp with a cheap Brando type in her office; Mrs. Tierney, abandoned to die alone in a friend's apartment; the book to the compromise his publisher demands; and finally, inevitably, himself.... Probably few writers today can register with just this kind of shattering precision the mortification of the flesh and the spirit, as well as the erosion of values and liens so that only loneliness is left. The sophistication of the New York setting here and the bitter, bright interchanges might well assure a kind of popular success Brian Moore has never achieved which here is equated with Brendan's self-betrayal.