How old is Colin Wilson since he was first introduced as a Wunderkind some ix books ago? He's still something of the child prodigy as is the Hugh Greene he writes about here he's also something of the bad boy who obviously doesn't want to grow up even if he could. And in this seventh book which is not vastly different from his non-novels, Hugh (ibid Colin) is still burrowing in and burrowing from recherche books; idiosyncratic ideas abound; he toys with them. Monstrously clever ittle Hugh is a mathematical genius at four; so is his Uncle Nick but he is also insane, while his Uncle Sam, a Swiftian sage, has withdrawn to an attic. As Hugh eaches adolescence he becomes a friend of another misfit; he leaves school for ""the inner dark"" and he stops thinking about mathematics, starts thinking about ex and violence. His dualistic drives combine inevitably in a sex crime (not his). By the close he has given up numbers for the greatest cipher of all- philosophy-and the ""contradictions of the bundle of responses called a human being"". Proved ut all this off color, offbeat experimentation and smoggy speculation alienates the reader as well as the boy.