There is almost an Evelyn Waugh cult -- and his admirers will thoroughly enjoy this witty, malicious story of the patriot who didn't go -- and didn't give -- and sometimes profited. Basil is the wayward, graceless son of Lady Seal, who with Angela, his misuses, is determined to put Basil into uniform. After successive failures. Basil escapes his of social and intellectual dilettantes and goes down country to stay with his sister. There he finds his war effort by way of three evacuee child of the countryside, whom he billets and unbillets for cash. He tires of this sport, and returns to London, secures a job in the information, where he vies for promotion through reporting his ""friends"" -- and framing them -- as Communists and Fascists. But at the close, with ""the new spirit abroad"", Basil joins up for active (repeatedly very) service, in a regiment. Acidulous, amusing, nonsensical story of the war in reverse. Nobody but Evelyn Waugh could get away with it (and he doesn't always).