Massachusetts has its Marquand; Pennsylvania its O'Hara; and the Empire State its Auchincloss and this is another one of those Tales of Manhattan radiating like the city itself so that old New York approaches Flushing Bay. It also steps softly on the pile of distinctions which exist between Aubusson and wall-to-wall carpeting, or the Shallcross family and one impervious Jay Livingston, a ""little realtor"" from Queens who changed his name and dropped his religion. Jay had gone to Columbia with Martin Shallcross; he now buys Shallcross Manor for a housing development; and he becomes involved with all the family: with Sophie first (youngest, and too long unmarried after an unsettling evening over a bottle of yin rose); with next her assured, sexier married sister, Elly; and with Martin who joins him in the pursuit of the big buck, and while the Shallcrosses do not prove equal to this rapprochement of the worlds of prestige and profit, Jay, while also a loser financially, is an easy winner. Once again a trip through the ""social looking glass"" without any distortion: these fleshless and bloodless characters, whether in suits from Brooks Brothers or Barney's, are perfectly reflected and recorded in permanent press prose. All in all svelte, assured entertainment with an equanamity few can equal.