Much whipping up of the whirlwind which settles down to a spin of dust- and leaves the reader with a bad taste in the mouth and a sense of anti-climax. For here is the making of a contemporary novel using current issues:- a returned diplomat seeking quiet in a professorship in his old home; conflict in the political aspirations of his son; a wave of red-baiting hysteria -- and those who don't hesitate to name names. And then a smear campaign, plotted by the son against the father (to get him out of town?) and thinly patterned on the chance visit of a playwright with a reputation for perversion, and linked only by a courtesy invitation to the house of the ex-diplomat. A big government job fades out of the picture; a professorship is withdrawn; the son wins his political campaign by a piece of chicanery; and the town settles down to forgetfulness. In the process, a tremendous cast struts across a rickety stage, mouthing empty sentiments. A good many people with shadowy personalities act important and matter not a whit. And a great deal of loose talk and unnecessary dirt finds listening ears. I found it abysmally dull. Whence his reputation?