... ""filled to the neck with fifth..lies and liquor, deceit, betrayal, old cigarette butts"" -- is not particularly edifying- nor satisfying- for Lionel Aldridge, who has walked out on his wife, Jane, whom he doesn't miss, and his daughter, Sara, whom he does, -and this is the record of the lostness and the loneliness- of the months which follow. He has an affair for a few weeks with Rosalind, whose maternal warmth thaws him for a time- then bores him with its surfeit of solicitude. It is varied by the occasional days- and nights- with Amelia, the first girl he had ever loved, who comes up to New York from Boston- but the relationship can only be furtive and fleeting- she has a husband and three daughters. A few of his friends- and acquaintances- share his restlessness- and are on and off the couch, in and out of bed, and make up this marginal world of chafed spirit, all a little mad and sad and sick. In a first novel, this young writer is a voice for a young generation (and the publishers make a justified parallel with Salinger) and records it with a telltale accuracy and more than a little sympathy.