Presumably from the French, this novel of a few weeks during the aftermath of the Spanish Civil War can be read on two levels: as a rationale of war in general and the dialectics of the revolutionary in particular; or- in more human terms- as a contrast between courage and cowardice, dedication and defeatism as exemplified in two brothers. Juan, the survivor of Barcelona, Teruel, Guadalajara and three bloody years of war, returns with false papers and a grenade in his pocket to the home of his brother who had fought an easy war, run to fat, and is now a Colonel in the Fascist army of General Mendez. Luis, knowing that he hasn't the courage to kill Juan- as he should, thinks of hiring one of his men to liquidate him, and then cannot. His failure extends to other spheres-to his relationships with Aurelia, a slattern, and Asunta whom he had wanted to marry. Only after Juan has endangered his own life, is Luis capable of action- he helps to clear him across the border... For all the stark extremes here- the absolutes of sacrifice, or shame, this also fills in greyer areas- compromise -- default. It is an interesting book, although it may be difficult to place.