Once we know that a writer is not going to die young in a garret, his biography loses interest unless he can fortify it with extraneous adventure or outrageous behaviour."" Trease is hardly the man for that, although he still manages to invest this second volume of his autobiography (A Whiff of Burnt Boats) with self-effacing pleasure. He had just succeeded as a writer for younger readers when this book begins along with WW II which literally bombed him out of print. He taught, briefly, before he was accepted into the infantry where -- involuntarily -- discretion was again the better part of valor; in England he spent much of his time card-indexing or giving talks, and when finally sent to India he was still kept behind the lines. This volume ends with his return home to his only briefly mentioned if obviously much loved wife and daughter. . . . Find the readers for the earlier volume and that will answer the question whether affability and modesty is enough.