For an odd distortion of New Orleans life, this out-tallants Robert Tallant's novels (Angel in the Wardrobe, Mr. Preen's Salon, Mrs. Candy's Saturday Night) although there are definite resemblances in the collection of outsize personalities. Geneva Howard, retired opera singer, becomes a landlady of the two houses she has bought, and her tenants are the Malin brothers, straight out of Gothic oddities,- Oleg who carves trees into statues, and Elia, whose passion is his brother and rugmending. Others include Maria, recently dismissed from an insane asylum, whose mother remains invisible although a kleptomaniac, a young Cajun couple, a most respectable Northern couple, book-writing Dr. Sturdefant and his notably mammary secretary, perfume shopkeeper, Miss Bruno, who is trying to buy Geneva's houses, and eventually a second story man. It is Oleg who is the catalyst of the situation, who sends Maria's mother into her Cassandra shrieking, who finally gets the doctor's secretary, and who, in finishing his sculpture, brings about his own doom. Something more or less out of a dream world, this conveys its sense of the extraordinary, has its moments of bright bawdiness, of human philosophy, and, outside its interest in artistic personalities, has little in common with Tiger, Tiger, Anna Becker, or any of his previous novels. For the more sophisticated palate.