Last summer was a vacation island, beachgrass and plum, sunshine and sand...Last summer was a million laughs...Last summer a pretty blonde girl and two carefree, suntanned youths nursed an injured seagull back to health...Last summer, too, they befriended Rhoda, a shy young girl with trusting eyes...

Let the reader beware. This is a shocking book - not for its candor and daring but for its cruelty and scorn, its shattering impact, and its terrifying vision of reality. What begins as a vacation idyll gradually turns into a dark parable of modern society, revealing the insensate barbarity of man.

The opening is as bright as summer, as calm as a cobra dozing in the sun. But, as summer and compassion wane, the author strips away the pretense of youth and lays bare the blunt, primeval urge to crush, defile, betray. The tragic, inevitable outcome exposes the depths of moral corruption and the violation of the soul.

In this tale of depravity, Evan Hunter has written a novel that is a work of art. Its theme and portent are inescapable, its insolence cauterizing, its humor outrageous - a brilliant stabbing, altogether unforgettable book.

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