This book, toughly tender, does a smarting job of dramatizing the confrontation between two of life's drop-outs, an aging, pathetic homosexual and a despairing Negro junkie. It takes place in the twenty-four hours after Eddie Lawson's return from a year spent kicking the habit. There are flashbacks...Eddie's rivalry with his older, favored brother...his domineering mother. And there's his girlfriend Alice whom he betrayed for a one-night stand with a white woman. Thurley's past is full of incidental and monumental tragedies, in particular his one desperate attempt at marriage to an emasculating woman and his total frustration. Then there was the night his best friend took her as he helplessly watched. The two are brought together by "Brother," Eddie's friend, Thurley's lover. Brother is past hope or help. An addict who has sold flesh and soul and no longer cares. Eddie's mother has just died and Eddie is on the verge of dropping back into the demonic world of "What Slick Sells" but Thurley sees in Eddie a chance to save someone aha possibly himself. To get through the night... Mr. Wideman approaches poetry in passages but his characters are firmly rooted in reality. Experience painfully, painstakingly rendered.