A lengthy family novel which has appeared in eleven languages besides its original Hungarian since its publication in 1934, this, because of its intensely European tone, its redundant futility, may have difficulty in finding an American market. Beginning with the birth of Paul Hgedus at the start of the twentieth century, it follows his life up t his final disillusionment, withdrawal and loneliness in 1933. It gives a picture of the way of life typical of an upper middle class Budapest family in showing Paul as a child a the emotional ties that made up his world, in underlining his relations with his parents, his brother and the members of the household, in mirroring the years of the first World War and the changes of economic and political upheaval. There is a stay in Switzerland when Paul has tuberculosis, another in Berlin which ends with the double suicide of the girl loves and his cousin who are lesbians, and Budapest again where, with the death of his father, Paul goes to work at the bank. There follow unsuccessful marriages ending in divo and Paul, alone and unhappy, is unable to regain the peace and security he had known as child. The scope is broad, the characters well drawn, and the whole has unity but the total effect is of excessive length.