The almost always outspoken memoir of that suave -- well what else could he be -- blithe bon vivant from the time (101/2) when he was expelled from school for a not very funny practical joke. At 14, Niven met Nessie on the streets who brightened much of his early life -- self-described as ""an 'ore wiv an 'eart of fuckin' gold"" who proved to be a very good friend to David and some of his friends at the school where he first found himself before going on to Sandhurst. A little Mayfair socializing, and Barbara Hutton, took him to New York for some of his greener salad days but he was to learn he really didn't belong, went on to Hollywood, and became the almost first unknown to be signed on a seven-year contract by Sam Goldwyn. There's his marriage to Primula with whom he was ""wonderfully in love"" and who died, falling down a cellar stairs; a second one which almost ended differently to a beautiful Swedish model; and in between E.E. Cummings' balloon is ""filled with pretty people"" -- Noel Coward and lan Fleming, Norma Shearer and Vivien Leigh, the Bogarts, the Colmans, you name them and he does because they were part of his life. Lots of pink gin, and it all goes down and up very easily.