The friend and frequent biographer of G.B.S., Stephen Winsten, surveys his private life. He is particularly interested in Shaw's philosophy and the origin and subsequent persistence of his sarcastic and often cryptic wit. The recurring ""It's all a pack of lies"" can be traced to Mr. Carr Shaw, the father, who treated life as a big joke and a grand hypocrisy. Shaw's comprehensive suspicion of conventions and cliches derives from the father. His emergent philosophy, however, added an element of hope and sincerity -- a purposeful life. Humans are instruments of the Life Force (Shaw's pet name for God) -- an erring, groping, sacrificing entity- through which the Purpose is fulfilled. The egotistical, clever old Shaw might sanction his new label -- jesting apostle. With the aid of heretofore unpublished correspondence, the author portrays Shaw in his relationships, in his personal predispositions and prejudices. The Socialists, the women, the vegetarians, the critics, the actresses, the housekeepers- these sketches in relation to Shaw, elaborate the already well-established Shavian repertoire in a readable and perceptive manner. But...we doubt that the book will widen the Shavian market.