Irony is the key to this novel by the author of 4 Dog's Head (1953) and indicates the appeal for more sophisticated readers. There are many delights in the story of a Parisian dairyman and his family and the events through which they live from 1940 on and the lives which they touch. The Poissonards return to their shop, Au Bon Beurre, where blackmarketing and other underhanded activities prove profitable; they revolve with the fortunes of war, and at the Liberation are as well thought of by the French as they were by the Germans, Just previously. Parallel to this simple tale is that of Leon Lecuyer, a romantic young man, whose adventures take him to a German prison camp, escape and suspicion of trying to assassinate Laval; there's a reception in Vichy; the turning of the tables on the Poissonards and a series of rapid and vivid scenes. Moments of high comedy, and some pathos, dot a novel that takes life and human nature as it is and distorts it enough to keep it a gay pantomime. Sheer.