I felt that this book was an in-depth look on the crime and corruption in America in the 1970's during the Vietnam War. This book was about a drug deal gone very wrong because the main character, John Converse, was very inexperienced and wanted to deal drugs for the thrill of it. He gets a friend, Ray Hicks, who is in love with Converse's wife, to transport the three kilos of heroine from Vietnam to the US where Converse's wife, Marge, is supposed to take care of it. Unfortunately, the woman Converse was having an affair with and who he got the heroine from, Charmian, tipped off a CIA agent, Antheil. That led to Ray Hicks and Marge running away to New Mexico where Ray Hicks' insanity starts appearing as he gets very possessive over the heroine. All the characters and continuous switching of points of views from Converse to Ray and Marge made this book a little hard to understand at times. The explicit sex scene seemed a little unnecessary as did some of the "getting high" scenes in the book but overall, I think the author, Robert Stone, did a good job of representing the underground workings of the U.S. during the Vietnam war in the 1970's. He did an extremely good job with the dialogue when the characters were high. I could really get involved in what was going on because I felt as if everything was really happening. Dieter, a friend of Ray Hicks, said a quote in the book that I really liked. I think it really sums up what these people in the book were feeling. "There's such a thing as personal necessity. Maybe it's beyond moral areas." These people were doing anything and everything to get money from the heroine and it shows how evil people could really be.