Autobiography in verse, at the start, the syncopated rhythms, free verse, metrical experiments compose a hurdle that may irritate or annoy. But later, the result is a tightening up, a sharpened impression, a focussing on emotional values which might have been lost in prose. Benet writes in the third person, with Raymond as hero. He changes all but a few names, but in most instances those who know the New York literary mart will recognize them under the pseudonyms. He has traced the boy, the youth, the man against a background of a changing world; there are flashbacks, political and international, and events in the past which touched upon the writer. There are his successive experiments and adventures in love, in marriage, but little of the deeper impression. One gets the pattern of his social conscience, rise and fall. There is much here that is interesting -- much in recall which has a nostalgic appeal to those now in the 40's and 50's. Worth reading.