W. C. Fields once said: It is high time we grasped the bull firmly by the tail, and faced the situation. With that as his touchstone, Gwynne indulges himself in a punning, slangy, crazy giggle about Phipps, a British diamond buyer in an African country named People's Republic of Malaria, who one day gets hijacked by a child-brained American bush pilot while carrying $800,000 in raw diamonds. The plot longs to be lunatic but seldom rises above boozy whimsy. Some fair moments arise at embassy parties and in a mocking history of Malaria. Phipps falls for Kathy, a Peace Corps worker who has ""knockers like a '56 Buick"" and a ""sexy mouth like a Disney goldfish."" When the hijacker is killed by native rebels, Phipps is made prisoner in a hut with Kathy (improbably kidnapped, less improbably raped). But enough--to say more is to say less, or perhaps as Phipps says while she blows him, it's a matter of ""different strokes for different blokes. . . .