For a very short and rather abrupt novel Flesh is surprisingly effective. The book is a telling description of the bourgeois, intellectual habits and attitudes of two upper middle class London Jews -- Marcus and Nancy, who meet, marry and cope with various familial problems and relationships. Beneath this recounting of everyday detail is the more subtle transformation of Marcus' character -- from an introverted, bumbling aesthete (whose favorite painter is, oddly, for him, Rubens) to an ever-expanding bon-vivant. His introduction to the pleasures of the Flesh is effected by his more seasoned wife into whose hands he has given himself up from the start. It's sly and sophisticated and written in a deceptively simple manner.