A superb piece of writing -- a racking book to experience, and this in spite of the fact that the author attempts to keep his emotional values matured, his characterizations symbolic. The record of Ravic becomes the record of today's Man without a Country. His need is not for that country, but for the chance to be a whole man -- not a brilliant surgeon in hiding, ghosting for opportunists, acting as house physician for a Paris bordello, hiding in an anonymous hotel for refugees, shorn of possessions, unable to make any human alliances which would forge new bonds. For he is bound by a past he cannot escape until he has had his revenge. He has no papers and faces daily peril of discovery. Into this rootless life comes Joan Madou, a bit of Europe's flotsam, whose need for emotional outlet makes her clutch at love in any guise. Joan wants Ravic -- Ravic cannot give her security, nor adventure. Both try to break the hold --both fail -- and at the close Joan pays with her life, and he with his freedom, as he faces this time a French concentration camp. Through the story, one feels the sickness of the world, one glimpses a segment cross sectioning a decadent Paris in which the little lost people live and love and hate and die. There is much that will be unpalatable to the conservatives, to the squeamish -- but it seems to us a more significant book than anything he has done since All Quiet.