A very good first novel by a young Englishman of the new postwar generation, this is Joe Lampton's story, of how he leaves behind the mill town where he was born and raised a laborer's son, to work as an accountant in the Town Hall of a country town and attain his social and professional ambitions. It is a story of love and money inextricably intertwined and of how Joe sacrificed his love for an older married woman to secure the daughter of the richest man in town. Joe is a young man on the make, an unattractive type, but Braine makes him understandable; he is self-conscious, self-pitying, detached and calculating about sex (of which there is quite a bit). Still, the reader gets involved with him and the book has a certain impact as well as humor- of a cynical sort. All in all, Braine has written an essentially serious novel of the ""beat generation"", and it is for the audience which has enjoyed such new writers as Kingsley Amis.