This free-swinging, funny, hip novel, mostly told through wildly loose-jointed conversations between bright Whites and even sharper Indians, is actually a rather serious series of vignettes about White vs. Indian. Ring, the white trader's son, thrown into quicksand by his black horse (Fate?), lies half-drowning and remembering for eight hours scenes from his life on a Navaho reservation and his friendship with a young Navaho artist, Twenty-Six Horses. These incidents reveal Indians in relation to white men, a Negro, a poet, and other Indians, and white men in relation to Mexicans, Jews, etc. A complete, complex set of interrelations are accomplished through marvelous off-beat accidents with cars, planes, horses, simple lunatic misunderstandings, and some splendidly near-surrealistic satire. They add up to a fairly devastating total view of the white man's world. And while superficially it may seem to be an airily-off-beat shorthand entertainment, it is a book to be read twice.