This is Dublin's answer to Auntie Mame. This first novel by a young Irishman has received excellent notices from the British press (""brilliantly comic"", etc.) but the American and British sense of humor do not, necessarily, have much to do with each other. Some of the book resembles a Punch cartoon, drawn in cramped and loving detail and full of caricatures of unfamiliar types in odd costumes. Peter Perry is a tall, gaunt, female eccentric who, at first, seems fabulous to her young nephew, Roy, when he comes to lodge with her in her shabby Dublin apartment. She smokes incessantly, sings to herself, has no visible means of support, and appears to know most of the local theatrical world who appear at one of her parties here. All this is brightly written, and perhaps Dublin society is full of provincial bores and vaudeville artists, but the closed-circle communication through which this group maintains self-esteem is wearing. And none of them is actually seen in action. Peter, rushing around, gossiping, and building up her own legend like everyone else, is presently revealed as a poor old woman with a past and no money, the victim of an impostor who claims to be her husband. It is not enough for the characters and an author to say how fabulous and funny they are--the reader has to be shown.