Corporal Carlo Reinhart, bids goodbye to the neuropsychiatric ward in which he has spent the last half year of service to return to civilian life, his midwest hometown, to Maw, Paw, and further self-definition. He refused to shed his old army suit because it is symbolic of the loneliness of civilian society until he meets up with Splendor Mainwaring who resembles a ""Calvinist in blackface"" -- and Splendor convinces him that the symbolism bit is a lot of bunk. Carlo flops in real estate, fails as a husband, and becomes consonant with himself only when accidentally appointed President of Cosmopolitan Sewers, Ltd. not because he ""gives a damn about efficient drainage"" but because he realizes finally that he too is motivated ""by a need to be adequate, like everybody else."" Reinhart in love is Reinhart in love with the possibilities of life. He's an intellectual buffoon, well meaning but basically ineffectual, with whose help Thomas Berger demolishes the most cherished of our American institutions. This novel has been excerpted, prior to publication, in many of the leading, better magazines. This should boost sales of a work somewhat tedious, but spottily brilliant.