This is a vertiginous collection of first short stories, more than the hallucinatory ascent to Japan in the little story implies. While on the one hand the reader may feel that Miss Hutchins is having him on, and on other occasions that he is being deliberately excluded, still there are many points of interest in this writer's talent, notably in the macabre fertility of words, images, symbols. Incest, mothers and sons, sons and mothers, and death- usually violent, are recurrent themes, and in the words of one of the characters, there's a certain amount of ""strange and fascinating filth"". More accessible than The Elevator and other far-out fantasias, are Really in which an all-purpose word reveals the charming, devastating effectiveness of a woman; again more familiar, domestic circumstances camouflage the fatal finale of Conversation Piece; there's a brilliant virtuosity in The King's English and an ironic patient-analyst's exchange in The Cure. Still these stories with their scented decadence and surrealistic bizarrerle reveal a special talent and a very special taste, as those familiar with the much earlier Diary of Love and My Hero (New Directions-1955) will remember.