A study of ambition- a lust for power and money- a lust for physical satiety which never brought more than that to Rex Disbro, this is a strangely holding and at the same time repelling book. Rex Disbro learned the costs of success on his own terms:- to be unwanted, to be unscrupulous, to let dreams die, to be willing to forget right and wrong, to know that what you love you cannot have. And at the end, it turned to ashes in his mouth-this success for which he had sacrificed all. There were three women in his life:- Mary, the cousin who always loved him but whom he could not marry; his wife, who gave him three children -- but could not give him what he wanted; his mistress Sabina, wife of his benefactor, his partner, the man whose power over him he could not bear and so he killed him. And there were his children -- but the one he loved most he could not acknowledge as his. The story is all here, told by flashbacks after his death. It is a cruel book, much of the time a powerful book. Some of the characters live-some are lay figures. The book is overwritten, and yet even when one feels one is being asked to explore the author's personal philosophy, he manages to hold the interest. Not a book for the thin-skinned, the readily shocked, for it is a brutal, gross and fleshy book. (PL's beware!) But the writer is someone to watch.