An unrelieved account of the assault and battery on the sensitive young mind and heart of Christy Livingston, a Birmingham boy who finds himself in a world too terrible, he feels, to be the work of a benevolent God. The cataloguing of events to support his scepticism proceed with dispatch. His hated father falls into a furnace at work and dies horribly, his beloved mother succumbs in pain to cancer; his teen-age sweetheart kills herself trying to get rid the the baby he did not realize she was bearing him; his epileptic and homosexual cousin assails him; his mother's sister tries to seduce him. Meanwhile the family insistently hammers at Christy to accept God. Under pressure, he prays at his mother's bedside as she lies dying to relieve her anxiety for him, but ultimately he escapes his baptism to crucify himself in the hogpen. Tight, directed writing of the lost young modern genre, with human behavior of all varieties quite open for inspection, perhaps too wide open for library consumption.