The success technique of the news agency world is the theme of the close woven stories of old timer, Clay Brewster and fledgling Don Shelby. In the Paris office, Clay gives him the know-how, guides him past slipshod, clever Kester and pompous-fronted Rockwell, and the intrigues of the office and watches Don make good in the accepted Interworld Press way. But as Don rises, Clay is demoted for his refusal to succumb to all of the counterfeit, and when Don, having tossed one mistress at Clay, jilted an older women, not only builds up the Madrid branch but is also sent to Rome. Clay is tossed to the lions of North Africa. When he learns that Don has had an affair with Cristina, Clay's passionately Communistic wife, he goes berserk and lands on the town. He is finally forced to accept a charity job from Don -- now head man in Paris. The cheap, mean policies of speedy news gathering, the needling up or amashing down of news, the peddling and pandering to customers that turns reporters into salesman or political sunuchs -- these background a novel of cynical disillusionment, in straight journalese, set in post-war France.