When first and last seen, Stoddard Lathrop, close to seventy, is, contrary to John Donne, an island--""an island of money completely surrounded by Florida."" This strictly commercial novel about commerce dovetails Stoddard's story with that of Florida, from its undiscovered, undeveloped beginnings to its post World War I boom, its later near bust, and on. Stoddard starts out in the trucking business; moves on to motels; ends by building whole community-developments. Actually he hasn't time for anything else--except for a few on and off moments with one girl, he is alone making money beget money. Wilder has the Midas touch, although we question whether this one, in which the only real character is Florida, will be shot with gold.