A rather conversational, questioning novel which projects, not too deeply, some personal problems of escape. Immediate and final, as it is offered by Excelsior, a snow resort in Utah. Developed by a cosmetics careerist, Eleanor Geiger, Excelsior symbolizes for her a new and integrated ""life of beauty"", a Shangri-La in the modern world. There is George Staplston, a Book of the Month best seller, whom she hopes will use Excelsior for his next novel; Sam, a newspaperman, nostalgic over an old love and attracted to a new woman; Walter Sleben, a ski instructor, indoctrinated in the commerical values of charm; Faith, who is lost in psychiatry and liquor; and Chuchu Martin, a Hollywood star, who defies the warnings of danger and loses her life in a snowslide. With the million dollar insurance policy involved in her death, Eleanor tries every pressure to cover up the suspicion of suicide, waste for the first time overt insubordination and the jeopardy of her dream... A certain superficial worldliness to all this, and some subsurface speculation, this is for popular tastes but lacks narrative drive.