A fairly competent example of the ""whacked-out"" hospital genre -- full of doctors salivating at the thought of unnecessary operations and patients who manipulate their fatal but game-like reality with brio and schizophrenic detachment. There's Berstein, whose life revolves around getting an extra egg in the morning; and Klippelfeil of the swelling tumor and endless cranial probes; and Guttierez, who walked in one day with a stiff neck and never got out -- all lumped together in the Neurology Ward -- the world knowing, in its insane but logical fashion, that there is no place else for these old men to go. Into the madhouse walks the unsuspecting Dr. Redshield, more interested in boobs than lobotomies, who ends up on a cot in the ward with his former patients. They indoctrinate him into the realities of hospital life. The prose is a combination of black humor and Jewish ethnic, even to the intonation of the narrator's voice, which makes the whole seem like the endless transcription of a borscht belt comic's nightmare.