Frederic Prokosch writes fables in a phosphorescent prose; sometimes they borrow from history (The Dark Dancer--1964), and sometimes they are his own. But all are heavily brocaded with dream, myth, mystery, mirage and obsession, and curiosae of all kinds. In this case he assembles a number of people who have been aboard the S.S. Cassandra which obviously goes down at sea. They next find themselves on a primitive island, or spit of land, where inevitably civilization regresses and where they are haunted ""by a sense of unreality."" Perhaps it is not so-- perhaps they are facing the ""true reality"" within themselves for the first time. A few try to escape together and in so doing a mutually destructive young couple discover the quality of love; butterfly-hunting Miss Eccles, a spinster, is the transfigured victim of a native sexual rite; the hundred million dollars of wealthy, bored Lily Domingo cannot save her; etc. Throughout evil is a viscous presence in what is an exotic parable. It will either tease your curiosity or try your patience.