Maximum chance, medium skill. . . the essence of Monopoly played here by loser Elliott Owen Roddy who finds that he's not only passed Go but ""I'd been outdistanced before anybody told me I was in a race."" This is three-quarters and seven kids through a story that starts with Elliott as a medical student fascinated by the figure-eights of skating prima Mary Ellis Steadman. But off ice ""Mellis"" is as warm as a hearth which she wants and as endearing a snare as the family which she demands. Married, with thoughts of med school far behind and dreams of writing hardly past the dedication stage, Elliott soon finds himself in suburbia with a wife that blooms every spring and when Mellis isn't planning her own additions, she imports them--a Korean orphan--a Tennessee Walking Horse. Elliott just keeps running in place until he is finally confronted by his career's Big Chance and simultaneously, the possibility of Mellis' death by post-delivery complications. Elliott is tempted by dreams of a quite different existence but it's still quite a shock when he takes to the airport scotching job and family after her recovery. . . an ecstatic deserter. There's some very humorous ego-blitzing going on here but Elliott lacks the sensibility and the passion to get off so easily. Still, some males may not agree, but women will enjoy a Pumpkin Eater from a masculine (ad)vantage.