Thalia, Texas is the sort of God foresaken small town where, "...you can't sneeze without somebody offerin' you a handkerchief." As one of the inhabitants remarks, "Kids nowadays fornicate like frogs," and in patches the reading becomes that slippery. The kids are Sonny and his sidekick, Duane, and they have their senior year in high school to get through. It's made uneasy for them by Jacy, Duane's girl and the image for Sonny's masturbation. She specializes in paroxysmal public kisses with Duane and all her sexual efforts, from a dull nude swimming orgy in Witchita to her eventual elopement with Sonny, are made with audience satisfaction in mind. Their marriage was annulled, but Sonny slept with her mother that night. (He wasn't quite up to Mother's expertise although he'd put in daily practice with the coach's wife.) Sonny is the sympathetic character shown on the verge of manhood, or humanity, depending on your point of view. Hear him thinking after bowing out of the gang rape of a blind heifer: "Before, it had always seemed like fun, whether it was getting drunk or screwing heifers..." Sex is the groin level blind eye that directs all the characters and the basis for any philosophic comment and the end result, normal or subhuman, of all their encounters. It's a commercial book guaranteed to the talented author's audience won with Horsemen Pass By (filmed as Hud) but chockablock with all the devices for teaching fictional heroes the facts of life one meets in print, with monotonous regularity.