As all Purdy's work, the boundary which separates the normal and the fantastic and even grotesque is often demolished unleaashing a prose of majestic powers and indefatigable vision. This strange and yet poignant tale of a 17 year old boy haunted by the ghosts of his brothers, and living under the shadows of his tyrannical but loving father make is a story filled with twists and turns, leaving the reader constantly startled and amazed at the vibrancy of its prose. As in most Purdy's work, themes of homosexuality and sadomasochism are rife, but in this one, the themes are more subtle, and hence more suggestive. I would recommend this powerful, frightening and at times funny work to any of Purdy's fan - and if you are not, this book may help you become one. Surely, Purdy has got to be one of America's finest novelist - his sense of timing and dialogue is trule superb. Although I find his other works - like `On Glory's Course' and `Eustace Chisolm and the Works' more thematically powerful, this novel is nevertheless another testimony of this great writer's fine craftmanship.