This is a sampling of random essays, reporter-at-large pieces and a few from New Yorker regular, Alastair Reid. Though much of the style, on the one and, stems from Isherwood, or on the other from the seemingly inevitable Auden and raves, unlike Brinnin (p. 583), Reid's sensibility is strictly his own. The travel ournals canvassing the places and personalities of Spain are full of succulent atmosphere, snappy observations: ""General Franco's method of running Spain has been to give every man his ear but none his voice"", a land where to believe in cultural political freedom is ""like being a sun worshipper in Siberia"". There are odds and ends on on sports and the Tour de France, on remembrances of wet lanket Sundays in Scotland, ""a day you might easily mistake for Doomsday"". The rse, light but not slight, wraps up a pleasurable browser's packet.