The most remarkable feature about this book is the fact that it was completed when its author was 17 years old. While evincing an impressive command of situation and especially of dialogue, the implausibility and simplification of characterization and motivation vitiate what would otherwise be an extraordinary effort. Set in present day Mississippi this excursion into sex and politics records the descent into destruction of two antagonists -- Gene Massie, demagogic ex-Governor, ex-Senator, the ""White People's Choice"", and Harry Garner, a northerner, high school principal, whose political ambitions have been thwarted by his unfortunate marriage to Carol, a vacuous nymphomaniac. During Massie's campaign for re-election, the two men, representing supposedly antithetical positions -- founded more on their neuroticism than on their convictions, clash repeatedly, usually to Garner's embarrassment. When he learns that Massie's unscrupulous scandal mongering to the discredit of his opponents has not prevented his winning the election, Garner reaches the breaking point. Frustrated beyond endurance and taunted by the man he most despises, he drowns Carol and shoots Massie in his campaign headquarters, crying for his own death.