Bemelmans in his old vein of exuberant nonsense, complete with the kind of picture he has immortalized. Fiction in a sort of Munchausen sense of factual presentation of utter absurdity. Under the guise of an alias as Prince of Bavaria, Bemelmans travels de luxe with an authentic, down-at-heels nobleman as guide and arbiter. He learns how to get away with acceptance as a first class traveller on a third class ticket by assuming the role of a sleeping passenger; how to trick the proprietor of a luxury restaurant into providing a superb meal, complete with wines of the best vintage as guest of the house; how to lure a rich American with the glamour of titles and secure transportation via Rolls Royce across France. Le Comte de Cucaface has enough reality to support his claims; he plays the role of Prince until Bemelamns almost believes in him; and he provides a series of mad adventures, amoral, verging on ribald, which the Bemelmans' fans will welcome. Granted that Bemelmans is- for many- an acquired taste, this qualifies, in a way that many of his recent books have failed to do.