A British import of more pretension than accomplishment, combining elements of fantasy, allegory, and the sort of ""soft"" science fiction in which any desired phenomenon can be accounted for with an occasional murmur of something like ""virulent form of electricity."" Martin Browning, impoverished flute-player, sets forth in the company of the heirs to two huge industrial fortunes, in search of a remote South American valley housing a mysterious, imposingly financed technical project that is apparently connected with the disappearance of Martin's wife. Their quest leads them through a succession of dreadful realms built on one or another kind of cruel delusion and manipulation, to the city of the project itself. Here the Pygmalion-like intention of the enterprise is revealed through the strange and beautiful messenger who has intermittently beckoned Martin on his journey. Pullman is not without ideas or talent; both shine often enough through this grandiose muddle to make one wonder what he'll do next.