Those who remember the well-bred world of Mrs. Bridge will do a double take or perhaps not take at all to this increasingly inchoate journal of Earl Summerfield. He's ""Earl Nobody""-- a small civil servant and underneath his obsequious manners, there are obscene thoughts; he is also married to the older, smarter, stronger, castrating Bianca. His diary alternates between his own dreams of violent violation (""If a woman's asleep or dead, she doesn't judge you""), soured observations, accounts of rape he follows in the newspapers, and? It effectively patterns his gradual psychic dismemberment; the increasing boredom and enervation; hostility, depression; and the death-directed dreams come true in which he eventually finds some sort of redemptive release... The monologue can be one of the more difficult forms with which a writer handcuffs his talent; it is confining to begin with. Here however it is practised with technical virtuosity and it maintains an equilibrium between reality and delusion. As such it is to be admired even where it may alienate.