An unforgettable picture of a young man's development into a criminal. Strength, drama, poignancy, and beauty of writing are here with a love story singularly touching in its appeal.
August Wagner, old-time saloon keeper, faced the eve of Prohibition stoically. "No business now ... Still got the building ... Got to pay taxes just the same ... Got to start a new business ... Guess I can do it, though, if I have to ... Maybe open a restaurant . . . Use the bar for a lunch counter."
From then on, life was cruel to August and to Benny, his son. The disintegration of a personality is shown with startling clarity through scenes of murder, of dope-peddling, of prison, and of speakeasy and night-club life.
Those who have read Maynard's short stories in "The American Mercury" and elsewhere will not be surprised by the power of this novel. They will remember "Murder in the Making" and "The Zip of the Gat." Others will recognize a new writer of great force.