From the angle of a picture of peasant life in modern Italy, the interplay of old and new forces, an essayist's approach to the subject, and definitely anti-Fascist propaganda -- this might prove satisfactory reading. From the angle of a novel it does not qualify. Some three hundred pages of inaction frustrates the average reader expecting some sort of dramatic climax to the story of the young socialist endeavouring to foment revolution. One feels that the author has mistaken his medium. Distinctly a disappointment from Silone.