The first of the three sections of this book is a keen-edged piece of literary criticism, dealing with the two main schools of prose writing of the last thirty years:- the ""Mandarin style"", aesthetes, perfectionists, including Pater, James, Wilde, Proust, Logan Pearsall Smith and Virginia Woolfe; and the ""vernacular school"" of Hemingway and his group, with their journalistic, realistic approach. He stresses the need for a merging and a compromise of the two. The second part deals with the enemies of literary promise, from journalism, to politics, to escapist narcotics, to worldly success. The third part is autobiographical and deals with the author's school years, the literary evolution of his taste, the conditioning influences of the times. An unabashed backward glance at his adolescent gropings and affectations, and an illuminating account of the vices and virtues of the sort of education that was his, -- St. Wulfric's, Eton and Oxford. Connolly is a finished writer, often stimulating. For the Logan Pearsall Smith audience.