Julian Mitchell seems to be better known in England than here (his last book- The White Father-1965--a Somerset Maugham and John Llewelyn Rhys winner). This new book, however, in spite of some reasonably accomplished writing, never manages to return any real interest in the rather dilettante/desultory characters with which it deals. When first met, Martin Bannister, a young Englishman in America, recently unemployed and permanently unattached, is disengaged like a clutch. But then he has always felt that ""real life is somewhere else."" At the end, after he has been the circumstantial correspondent in a divorce action (he has been the protege of a dominating, attractive older woman but nothing more) ""real life"" is still eluding him. Mr. Mitchell tells his small story in a somewhat circuitous fashion, shifting his first person narrators suddenly without serving notice on the reader. But then none of them, fashionable and flighty, have much substance beyond the material world they represent in rather sophisticated terms. Perhaps the most that can be said is that whereas you will read the novel attentively, you will forget it immediately.