As a first novel it is pretty well done, although characteristically melodramatic in spots. As I worked on editing and typesetting it I came to like it very much. There are many vivid scenes that should not be missed: student painters jammed into the atelier on a hot day, street riots, a fabulous masked ball, the mad street urchin, and the long interlude hunting and fishing at a lodge in the German Alps.
Be advised that it contains some "rather raw anti-semitic content".
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