This is a collection of unusual sketches and mood pieces, mostly with a Southern background and flavor. They are chiefly concerned with catching-- removing whole, still a little wet and glistening, from the stream of time-- some revealing moments in the lives of groups of rather inarticulate characters. Since there is little interpretation, and since the states of mind involved are often odd to begin with, a few of these stories tend to be flat- or too fragile. At best, however, they convey precisely, disturbingly, their brooding, moods. Perhaps most moving is the first story in which a God-fearing Southern farmer announces to his family that Judgment Day has come. As the day drags on, believers and unbelievers alike talk, round up escaped hounds, and wait with a heightened awareness of life. At nightfall, a splendid, turbulent thunderstorm awes them all into momentary belief.... Most of the other scenes are less dramatic; children witness death: a young spinster's attempt to be reborn at a baptism is rejected; a silent struggle for power among some odd tourists in Italy, etc., etc. For the most part people, dialogues, undercurrents are recorded in a brightly, almost maliciously, attentive prose and it is interesting if special.