These six short stories are intelligent and carefully worked out but the feeling one is left with after reading them is one of general unpleasantness, if not outright antipathy, toward the characters. (This may be the author's intention but in that case there are more important assertions to be made which this work does not justify.) The clearest example is the blasphemous but narrowly conventional young man whose visit to a prostitute is clinically related. Then there is the smug stupidity of an All-American type bestowing his presence on his father's family in Sicily; the housewife betraying her husband's weaknesses to his one-time friend; the comfortable liberal who is killed partly as a result of his excessive ""understanding"" of the man who wants to rob him. In Triptych a war hero's victory in staying alive degenerates into the meager banalities his 100% disability allows him. The title story is the longest, most ambitious and perhaps most revealing of the author's low estimation of his people. An Hour...involves a couple who accidentally meet at Carnegie Hall with their mates six years after their torrid post-adolescent love affair. In a subsequent meeting which is purely gratuitous they try to assess how ""they came out"" and in the process adopt the roles they deny, that of ""the ludicrous myth of Marjorie Morningstar"" and Noel Airman. Mr. O'Sullivan has skill and energy; it's just that his targets are not very worthy.