A difficult book to appraise, but one that must be taken as broad satire, at times almost farce, if it is to be appreciated at all. Not as ""side-splitting"" as the advance blurbs would indicate, for there is a tragic undercurrent of disillusion and petty jealousies and bickerings and marital infelicities which makes its humor a bit lop-sided. Through various types, interlocking groups, and a thin thread of plot, episodic for the most part, he gets in whacks at the shibboleths of modern life. Sections might be considered almost as long-short stories in themselves. One has the impression that Fisher is reaching out for something different -- and groping. Not as unrelieved in its brutal realism as his earlier books, but even so not for conservatives.