The finest work Cronin has given his public, far excelling all but Hatter's Castle, and more momentous both in theme and underlying philosophy than even that unforgettable book. Unpleasant -- yes, but so is much of the great fiction of all time. Not easy reading -- for it pictures a sordid, unrelievedly depressing angle of English industrial life. But there are elements of sympathy and humanity that Hatter's Castle lacked, and in young Arthur, idealist and weakling, defeated by his own inability to concentrate his efforts and organize his theories intelligently, and in David, riding to success and failure on the forces within and without, of good and evil, we have two characters that stir the heart. Diffuse in character and plot interest, the whole gives a kaleidescopic picture that seers itself on the mind. Initial advertising appropriation of $8,000 and wide publicity and promotion should send this immediately to the top. Sheer power and merit should keep it there.