A wittily turned, wryly conceived story of the gargantuan crack-up of a religious fanatic, which succeeds only as ironic comment on irrational behavior rather than as tragedy. Joseph Day, giant believer from the hills, is miserably unhappy at the University where his rigid fundamentalist obsession with the wages of sin and the primrose path are exposed to the carefree treatment of his worldly classmates, and he trembles violently at each fresh upset. An effete young housemate, who later takes his own life, a proud young aristocrat, and a rather unctuous divinity student are naturally attracted to Joseph's mighty rages and brute strength, but no one is able to save Joseph from the inevitable disaster when the landlady's lively daughter, Moira, is planted -- with instructions -- in his room. Violent murder and approaching insanity fostered by an unnatural sex repression, topple the colossus. Diverting, but Maugham did it better.