This is a gamble -- but, were I a bookseller, I'd take it, and make it a winner. Try to imagine a book which bridges the gap between Anthony Adverse and Only Yesterday -- a psychological novel of gilded youth in the late 19th and early 20th century, exposed to the maelstrom of society caught, in the meshes of petty intrigue, curious gossip, slurring innuendoes about those in high places, extravagance and vice and perversion, glimmers of an escape from the trammels of tradition, struggles toward a philosophy that took thought of humanity, attempts at an art which defied the classical standards. There's more unity and sanity than in The Polyglots -- but there's something of that madness. There's more hope than in The World's Illusion -- but perhaps because of the nationality of the protagonist. There's more maturity and selectiveness than in Of Time and the River --though something of that groping toward focus. I found it exciting reading -- not a shocker, though your ultra-conservatives might squirm a bit; and, in spite of its length (which is not a factor in its favor), absorbingly interesting. Those who grew up during those years should find it has a certain nostalgic quality in recalling almost forgotten things; those who know that period by hearsay, will find it crystallized and vivified amazingly. Sure of an important press, and already it is ""in the news"" -- on many counts, on both sides of the Atlantic. Don't miss it.