Whereas the author's The Serpent (1968) was prankishly playful, this is a lengthy lament, almost enervating in its dirgelike demeanor. The narrator, Giuseppe, has a head filled with dronings: is it the panicky echo of the Allied bombers in the last war? Or is it the buzzing of monstrous hordes of flies? Coming to ... ? Again the meaning behind the hidden, the inquiry into the connections is the motif as Giuseppe wanders the countryside around Panoma, Italy where he stumbles across a corpse in a meadow. After a murder of most consequence in this area, Giuseppe, paranoid to begin with, becomes manic. All suspects seem named Giuseppe. Particularly Giuseppe the butcher, the expert with knives and blood. But then Giuseppe the butcher dies in a strange accident and narrator Giuseppe continues his long ""running away"" from all the deliberate accidents of modern insanity--Vietnam, pollution, gangsters and on and on in a mad eclipse that fascinates until Giuseppe drifts too far for the litany to be affective.