He has the gift of gab, but he hasn't anything worth saying. That at any rate is my seasoned opinion. ""Sparkling"" -- ""satiric"" -- ""hilarious"" -- well, frankly, I was bored and definitely not amused. Call it a satire on all the descendants of South Wind. The ingredients are there:- expatriates seeking adventure, intrigue, romance; sultry tropical Mexican background, with alligator infested swamp and deserted palace; seduction ad absurdum; amorality ad nauseam; a volcanic eruption; smuggled opium; native politicos and police; an omnipresent urchin of uncertain antecedents; a mad pilot; a promiscuous girl; local talent in love and adventure; an American with empty pockets and indifferent moral standards; a mid western middle aged couple bored with each other; a couple of homos; and a general aura of depravity, indifference to death, shallow intrigue, and general detachment from both reality and fantasy. Mix well with a spice of degeneracy -- and a gift for slick writing.