Young Mr. Sohmer is twenty-four, about the same age as Rick Conrad when last seen in this first novel. Presumably he hasn't had too much time to mull over (t)his experience. Also presumably The Way It Was is the way it was-- dispiriting. In snatches, beginning when Rick is eighteen and leaving home, for Yale, it fills in scenes with his father (he knows every platitude a father ever addressed to a son); with his randy roommate at Yale; on a summer job in New York or a weekend at the jazz festival in Newport; etc. But mostly the novel deals with his irresolute relationship with Julie, whom he sleeps with first, marries later, and finally withdraws from altogether. For some reason Rick, in spite of all his preoccupations with sex and speculations about lingerie, is a kind of virgin-victim or as Julie puts it, a ""prig."" He's also unreachable. And even if youth must be served, it's hard to do so.