This story of three French eccentrics is not a book for everyone, its appeal is for realists who like acid characterizations. Octave, a rich banker, and Elie, who enjoys his own squalor, are brothers who delight in making each other miserable. Leon, the weakling nephew, in false pride, shoulders his dead mother's questionable debts, and the resultant poverty makes him dependent on Octave. His ultimate isolation brings him to death. A bitter commentary on Paris 1924. The book won both the Heinemann Prize and the Grand Prix Annuel de Litterature de l'Academie Francaise in 1934.