A first novel by Evelyn Scott's son which, despite its immaturity, shows a complete absorption of the Russian flavor. Many will resent this absorption, as with unrelieved vigor and maddening obstinacy he details all that is unpleasant of sight, sound and smell. This is the story of Ivan, first a student, whose hatred of bloodshed determines him to avoid it at all costs. When the war breaks out in 1914 he simulates diabetes and is exempted. He then has an affair with an older married woman, which comes a cropper, and he decides to escape from Russia. By the close he is headed for the unknown with his mistress -- if you care. Perhaps a good picture of Moscow at that time, and of the attitudes of Ivan and his friends, but the insistence on physical nastinesses will turn mental iron digestions.