Read as a satiric picture of American business success, and it has its points. Read as a serious picture of little man making good, and it is a bore. From callow youth to a post in Washington's inner councils, our Charlie follows the gleam, albeit sometimes unwittingly. He is a small mid-west town boy, with only a grammar school education, with a cipher for a father and a dominant mother, and with a flair for machinery that starts him via the bicycle-shop-garage-Henry Ford-agency route to success. He is inarticulate in his worship of the only girl, who marries another man. He is a mama's boy, until he gets fed up with it all and cuts the strings. He wins all the medals in the first world war, with an obvious application of a logical theory to eliminate a machine gun nest before it eliminates him. He climbs the ladder of success with a front created by a public relations guy who inflates him to their mutual peak of success. Davis has a facile pen and a tongue in cheek wit. But I felt this lacked the subtleties of his earlier work.