Dinlock is a Yorkshire mining town which the author- who is also the narrator here- visited and observed closely, so that the designation ""novel"" is the loosest of labels to apply to what is really a documentary of a localized habitat and its sociological metaphysics. Sigal, who had met one of its colliers, Davie, in London, a painter of primitive but positive talent riven between his desire to paint and the necessity ""to work coal face"", returns with Davie to Dinlock. There Sigal tapes with unquestionable authenticity the activities and attitudes of a dingy, dusty world; its men, brutalized, soft hearted, hard drinking; their occupational diseases, risks, and resentments- particularly toward foreign labor; their strong pride, of paternity, and providing well for the women whose only place is in the cheap, cardboard housing provided by the Coal Board; their minimal diversions-from the Telly at home to the Tombola of the pub; etc., etc. It is a small world- and a harsh one- and it offers the reader- no more than Davie- any possible escape from the bare facts of its existence. This is not to minimize Mr. Sigal's intent or achievement- he is a very graphic writer- only the possibility of attracting an American audience.