Yet another relentless search into the gamble of success, this new novel explores the beginning -- and the end -- of Manley Halliday, literary light of the '20's and now in disgrace in the '30's. His chance comes when he is assigned to work on the treatment of young Shep Stearns' book for the Czar of All the Rushes, Victor Milgrim. Determined on a comeback, but unable to forget his fame, Halliday is bolstered by Shep's real admiration for him, hampered by his need for Ann, his bondage to his memories of Jere, companion and wife of his early, gilded days of glory. Through past and present, through returns to the highspots of his youth when the studio sends Shop and him East, through his first slip into a little drink, Manley comes face to face with the disintegration of his life, the maddening realization that all is gone, never to return. As his alcoholism mounts, so do his troubles, with all around him, with the lessening of the possibility of coming back, so that death when it comes writes a welcome ending. More compassionate than his previous books, this constitutes a sad obituary for the Fitzgerald age.