A haunting sort of story -- not really a novel, but a revealing panoramic study of America on the road, -- hitchhikers, rail riders, tramps, jungle dwellers, young and old living by hand-to-mouth methods, always moving along, the great unwanted. The story is built around the wanderings of Tom, who had to get from Wisconsin to Texas, and who trustingly gave his small was to Pete, who had good intentions, a slick tongue, an appealing personality, and who was so quick with his fist that he killed a man. In his journeyings Tom met all sorts -- he had his first adventuring in love -- he managed to get along, somehow -- he made and lost friends -- he joined forces with the down-and-outers. An episodic pattern, ""tramping with tramps -- 1939 edition."" Tom grows up, but it was no easy process, and we leave him, turning hopefully towards the last lap of his long journey. Prokosch can write. He has set aside for the moment, his intense sense of drama and story, and given rein to his compassion. Not an easy book.