Crankshaw is an appropriate name, both for the protagonist and for this cranky, funny, sad, offbeat novel. Young John Crankshaw, a would-be poet, has left home for a pleasant bohemian life. Through his latest left-wing mistress, he finds himself housing an avant-garde poet, Rafferty (her real lover) and embroiled in all Rafferty's other benefactors and dependents. It is the old story of the rich, young, ""sophisticated"" innocent who is used and abused by a scheming talent. There are some wildly funny scenes as Rafferty manages to take away from earnest Crankshaw his mistress, his money, his bed, his faith in his talent, and his long-lost love, Madeleine, whom Crankshaw was about to marry. Crankshaw is left with nothing but knowledge- ""if there was no God, then Rafferty was the world"".... A brittle, bitter novel which is both a cynical farce and a reluctantly compassionate tale of disillusion. It is a better book than The Experience.