Have you ever listened to a crowd of people making what they thought was conversation while they were tight and you cold sober? That's the way the people in this incredible novel talked almost all the time. I don't remember ever reading a book I disliked more, from first page to last. The characters -- presumably ""natives"" of a Connecticut valley, and city people who were doing over old farmhouses -- all incredible, decadent, debauched; the situations -- taut, unnatural, out of drawing, like incidents in a nightmare . Some of the scenes are unforgettable in their very horror. Unfortunately, the man can write.