Mr. Hughes' bizarre, disturbing, and often lustrous story is somewhere between a fable and a horrific farce. The author seems to share the observation made by one of his characters that ""England is still a country that wants war and misses war, and if people don't get it forced on them by other countries, they make their own or find substitutes for it."" Everything in Major Kane's thinking has snap and crispness. He is an energetic megalomaniac. Any appearance of sentimentality in his wife or daughter is instantly crushed. Violence is beef tea to this fellow who fires revolvers indoors simply to clear the atmosphere. He is observed through three ""peacetime"" campaigns: against some elderly tenants on his estate; against a small British village which has to be evacuated for War Games; and against a sexy Swedish girl whom he rapes.....The author works brilliantly in modelling this blockhead in the round and his style is often as striking as his subject even though he is unlikely to recruit general readers.