As this opens, David, a 1950 high school senior working at a South Carolina seaside amusement park, is goaded by a pugnacious marine and rescued by the equally pugnacious beach bum Little Chico, who is happy to take over David's fight and to collect the debt in concession-stand food and in David's humiliation. Toward the end (and three girls later), David finally stands up to Chico and takes the beating that has become inevitable. Meanwhile Chico comes and goes, but that particular tension is pushed to the background as David pursues his newfound sex life. He has a two-clay affair (his first) with Fern, a woman his roommates have picked for a gang bang, then is dismayed--when he sees her with another man--to realize that she is indeed what she seemed. He has a passionate night and a few on-and-off weeks with Trevelyn, a moody college girl, then is stunned by evidence that she is a lesbian. And he seduces Rosemary, a young innocent, with an obvious line he hopes she won't fall for, then adds insult to injury with his repentant apology. ""Rosemary, Trevelyn, Chico, Fern. I felt I had learned some important things from them,"" David thinks as the bus takes him away at the end of summer. That, and his straight, college-student roommate's parting advice, ""This transient kind of life can do bad things to you,"" are about all we get of a viewpoint--though at times Turner's point seems to be ""One screw and you're corrupted."" However, the coming-of-age material and the convincing verity of the background will probably hold readers attracted by the title and the sensitive semi-hood on the cover.