The English author of The Breaking of Bumbo and The Project writes about a student's final days at Cambridge in the first person and with considerable verve and vitality. Ben Birt is a dissenter, an individualistic young man who refuses to be allied with the Establishment, or with its most obvious literary critics -- the Beats and the Angry Young Men, though he has elements in common with both groups. His adventures are colored by his affair with Judy Binns, a girl who is so devoted to life in the present that, in her own view, her current affair always cancels out those which preceded it. For all his say-saying Ben is conventional enough to object to this and he feels betrayed and embittered by Judy-Judas. He has some other shattering experiences too: he is almost sent down for the publication of a blasphemous poem a supposed friend of his wrote under his name; he discovers that the tutor he worshipped is unfaithful to his wife; and he loses interest in his examinations and doesn't do as well as he should. In the end he gets his degree and goes home to spend his time waiting to be called into the service. He's disillusioned but, one gets the feeling, undefeated.