A conscientious attendance on the curve of morality follows the career of Edward Tillotson whose encompassing sense of guilt grows with the rise of his fortunes. At 18 and drifting, he is exposed to the abrasive wisdom of Mr. Pardoner who sparks him into the study of mathematics and electricity, to the decadent circle in which David Mendoza moves, to the calculations of Doris who is not at all like his image of her, and to the evasions and contempt with which he is able to treat his father. A chance repair of a radio puts him on the track of the ""feed- back"" which accelerates his progress in the Navy in the war and in electronics after, and his patents give him a firm position in business negotiations. But wealth does not help his belated marriage to Celia nor soften his guilt and, with Celia standing by David, when his homosexuality is the cause of trouble in Italy and Edward's partner's financial manipulations resulting in trail and imprisonment, it is a return to a modest life that permits him and Celia to rearrange their values -- and their future. The conflicts of modern times in terms of the non- hero are here reviewed for the spurious standards that affect them and the book achieves a more believable argument than last year's The Unpossessed (published by Lippincott).