The Red Chinese in Shanghai imprisoned veteran British foreign correspondent Barrymaine as a papertiger spy from March 1968 to October of the following year (he took some apparently harmless photos of old buildings, the Bund), and most of this inside China today is spent reliving that galling experience -- among other things, he confessed. Most of the personal account is trivial: Barrymaine is seen putting on his handsome ""blue camel-hair overcoat, fur-felt Lock hat""; he reports that ""every Chinese virtually scrubs his teeth several times a day"" and that ""clippers to cut your nails"" were difficult to obtain; every other page he goes to the toilet, rubbing his bleary eyes and splashing water on his tired face. (cf. Anthony Grey's A Room in Peking, p. 36. which relates a similar ordeal but far more effectively.) The rest -- and there isn't much -- consists of some old hat reflections on the Cultural Revolution, Mao's Thought Book and current comments on the political situation. He believes, for instance, that China's Asian foreign policy is ""to wipe out United States influence from Indo-China and other areas"" (are you listening, Mr. Nixon?) and that there is ""harsh logic"" in Peking's territorial disputes with Russia. A worm's eye view of the time bomb which might just be a firecracker.