Those who saw Hotel Universe will recognize the same strategem in this novel, earmarked by theatre technique. The dramatist's characteristics are however used to good advantage, adding to the power and cumulative intensity of this unusual novel. A group of third rate vaudeville artists meet in Ma Speedy's back room after the show, which has been broken up by Clancy, former stage hand. Into this situation is thrust Pabst, symbolic of Evil, and one by one the tragedy of each life there represented comes to the fore. It is a macabre game of truth and consequences, the eternal waging of war between good and evil, the power of man's own will. Barry has not lost his facility; his dialogue is often powerful and brings his group into focus; his built-up is effective. While the underlying philosophy is not profound it is challenging. An interesting book -- unusual -- and not universal in its appeal.