Belleau Gamble, twenty years old, returns to Cuttyport-- a desolate town somewhere on the New England coast-- to revive the past, find a father in place of the one who never loved him, and disengage himself from the entanglements of childhood. He is a poet who has never been published, a student about to enter his senior college year come the fall. Gamble is adopted immediately by the Cuttyport ""in crowd."" There is Tanner, a sort of eclectic Zorba, Earth Father, father of eight, who dances the dance of life naturel; Andrew McMahon, homosexual aesthete who creates only for himself; and Hodder Monahan who yearns for a son and offers Gamble a trip around the world. Should he go with Monahan? Will it mean freedom or bondage? Is Cuttyport Sodom or Eden? Is pantheism the worship of life or the cosseting of death?... Mr. Boynton's first novel is replete with fascinating sexual esoterica, neither vile, vulgar, nor hackneyed. He doesn't quite know what to do with McMahon, we never get close enough to Monahan, and the brackish isolation of New England is only talked about. But Tanner is a vital, vibrant characterization, and Gamble-- mirabile dictu-- is a most laconic young man in search of himself. Games in the Darkening Air is swiftly paced, highly original, and often profound.