This is a small social fable of a year spent in London's Chelsea, with Richard Wilson, and a number of his friends (reporters, would-be writers, entrepreneurs, etc.) from the time that they take a rather filthy flat on Dove Place. This is a somewhat bogus Bohemia and a beat existence (dead rather than off), spurious- and even shady, and it is partly to Mr. Stone's credit that their story is attractive as well as amusing,- partly Richard's. He is very personable, and so is Elizabeth, his affair of the moment. Less so is Harrison, a casual acquaintance who drifts in and out of their lives. Harrison has hopes of marrying a titled and landed heiress, and is involved in a series of crooked schemes. His two terms of reference- ""loyal people"" apply to those that go along with him, and ""nasty people"" to those who show him up. In the series of furtive romantic and doubtful financial episodes to follow, Richard begins to feel the ""weight of his middle class morality"". His disenchantment with himself, and with the life he is leading, is complete when Elizabeth makes it clear that he too is conning and charming his way through life, and that he is no better than Harrison, the symbol of all their ""blind alleys, rootless passions and uncommitted alliances"".... Stone is a diverting writer, which does much to brighten a fringe world others might dimly view.