Sometimes one detects a note of spoofing; the rest of the time this reads like rather far-fetched straight story. In either case, it is a none too flattering picture of the fringe of London's smart set, that set which thinks it achieves success by swapping mates and collecting admirers. The story of simple Tony, county gentleman of the old school, loving his ugly old home, adoring his wife and son; and of Brenda, accidentally discovering she is bored, and taking up a youth who lives by his slender wits and other people's invitations. She decides she must have a divorce, and Tony plays the conventional gentleman until he discovers that she is willing to pauperize him to buy herself her gigolo husband. Then the worm turns -- and he is off to South America on a fantastic exploration, which has an even more fantastic finale in the Amazonian jungles. Not Waugh at his best. It falls a bit flat, much of the time.