A would-be Peyton Place novel about the not very good people of Sable Rapids, Wisconsin, and their daily affairs--adultery, suicide, snobbery, callousness, disillusionment, penny-pinching, keeping up with the Joneses, etc. The story centers around Charlie McCoy (""the real McCoy"") a brash, bumptious, naive, handsome and stupid go-getter, and his determination to meet the right people, make the right business contacts and marry the right girl. At the novel's end his singularly thick skin has been pricked to the extent that he realizes he is not fortune's darling. Tekla Quistad, rich, sophisticated, witty, desirable, promiscuous, won't marry him, but is returning to her New York career leaving Charlie to bear the snide comments of Sable Rapid's bottom-pinching bon ton and the guffaws of its excessively sweaty proletariat. This is pretty tired material dealt with in a rather weary manner and without a character that elicits sympathy except for an aged game warden who dies in the first chapter.