The Wild One is a novel based on the yough of Santiago Ramon y Cajal, a prominent Spanish anatomist born in 1852, whose growing years (as recollected in his autobiography, which is Clifford's acknowledged source) ""were characterized by rebellion, mischief, and determination to resist all schooling."" Santiago's stern father, who wanted the boy to be a doctor like himself, sent his son to be ""broken"" at a number of inhuman schools, and later, in despair, apprenticed him to a barber and then a cobbler, but the young Santiago wanted only to be an artist. As Clifford tells it, he finally became fired up about medicine when his father used his help in his infirmary and then began teaching him anatomy, allowing him to draw the bones he studied. The Wild One is too limited in time and perspective to be of real interest as biography, and its episodic nature and sudden resolution make it less than satisfactory as a novel. However, Santiago's escapades as embellished here make lively reading, and Clifford brings the time and place of his teen-age years to dramatic life.