This was a very interesting piece of fiction, written in an autobiographical format, of a young man finding his way in the 1930s Depression landing a job as a stagehand at the Palace of Varieties. Paul gets to do a few turns backstage, landing him deeper into a depraved and risky existence. The characters are interesting in their diversity, as are Paul's encounters with wealthy art patrons, a masochistic Russian artist, a straight friend with some curiosity, dodgy police officers and his mysterious, elusive mentor, Albert. It's full of graphic and explicit sex scenes and yet keeps a plot boiling that is hard to put down. A wonderfully graphic and well written classic. A terrific read for those who like their erotica to get really mucky but intellectually stimulating at the same time.