An engrossing collection of thirty of Mr. Aiken's subtle, delicately probed character analysis short stories. Mr. Aiken, who has been deeply influenced by psychoanalysis and the stream of consciousness technique of James Joyce, has contributed some fine stories of his own in this field. A contributor to the New Yorker many of these stories, though principally laid in Boston and environs, have the distinctive flavor of that magazine's high standard of short fiction, coupled with the poet's use of the precise word to pinion an emotion, character or situation. Though some of the stories are somewhat dated in their physical circumstance- (many are laid in the outwardly halcyon days of prohibition and the golden twenties) their metaphysical, almost morbid character analyses are still fresh and thoroughly compelling. And they will command a literary following.