A psychedelic sideshow with dizzying strobe-light images on every other page, this introduces a talented newcomer to the chaotic genre known as black humor. It starts out on a weirdly realistic level, the reminiscences of Maxwell Cane, a man who has deliberately gone to prison for a murder that he did not commit, that of a poet, painter, queer who was visited by spirits and was succumbing to the dark side of his personality. The novel then becomes more and more hallucinatory as we meet Maxwell's father, Cyril, former knife-thrower in a carnival who, in the course of the book, eventually becomes a Jew; Father Martin Blue, leftist politically and spiritually and his nemesis, the faceless, nameless preacher. Mr. Fine's ravaged specimens crawl across a nightmare landscape that ranges from revival meeting discotheques: ""Rock and Roll to Jesus,"" to Romanesque Texas mansions complete with a retinue of slaves to black motorcycle cults melting silver crucifixes into bullets and on and on. A pasticcio of absurdity that reflects not only the disorder of the day but spotlights the demons of the dark that pursue man in his search for pattern, order and God. It may be too strong for most.