A far cry from East of the Giants, that California pioneering novel which hit best sellerdom, but inherently a better book, though not so destined for popular sales. Stewart (a professor, so he knows whereof he writes) has taken the day in the life of a graduate student when he comes up for his ""oral"" for a PhD. The youth is an average, not brilliant, young American; success means marriage to his girl and a faculty post. Bit by bit the tension is built up, intensified by the fresh knowledge that the girl is pregnant. The exam itself is a showdown when the personalities of the examiners come into play. It is good reading, cleverly manipulated and with some skillful personality portraits.