This will probably be read more because of curiosity as to anything Valtin can do than for actual interest in the stories themselves. There are twenty odd sketches, impressions, drawn from actual rather than imaginative experience, most of them written during his three years in San Quentin prison. They serve as a record of an uphill climb to technical achievement, for they were written during a period when he was studying the use of English, under a professor of the University of California. They show a gradual increase in discipline of his violent, belligerent, turgid prose. There are sketches of the sailor's life he had lived, of waterfronts and harbors and whalers, of the prison and its inmates. Factual in background, fictional in treatment.