... is an unpleasant, adolescent offspring of an executed Fascist, a boy imbued with totalitarian teachings who is determined to carry on underground until the future day of ""liberation"". Sandrino at sixteen has acquired the approved bully boy tactics, and he brings to bed a foolish, older widow, overwhelms her with excesses, then leaves her, taking with him all her money for an imaginary fascist uprising in Milan, only to find that he himself is the dupe of thieves. He returns to try to blackmail Bruna, an ex-underground worker, and then sets his sights on Elena, a rich man's daughter, is foiled by both Bruna and Elena, and eventually murders. The author of A Tale of Poor Lovers observes sharply but on a one-dimensional level, interpolates freely, and assumes mistakenly that anti-social conduct such as this is only a product of our times. Limited.