This combination of story-dream-ancestor identification- past-present-future, is a pattern of a man repeating himself. In kaleidoscopic form, generations mingle, father, grandfather, sons seem to repeat the motive. It is at times confusing; there is a biblical ring to some of the writing, and a certain lustiness in the handling of the material. Once in a while the attempt to capture the quicksilver quality of mental processes is successful. But one needs to be a James Joyce to get away with it -- and Robert P. Tristram Coffin aint no James Joyce.