A tightly written, witty and skillful novel -- but for that very special audience that enjoys the so-called ""non-realistic"" fiction intended as an allegorical comment on our times. This is the second novel in a trilogy (the first was It Had Been a Mild, Delicate Night published by Abelard-Schuman in 1958- see report p. 638) and is perhaps somewhat more penetrating than the first. David Smith is a field research fellow in sociology at the University of Singapore. His over-intellectualizing and his commitment to a life of fantasy compound his initial difficulties. He has been engaging in a mutually unsatisfactory affair with the wife of a colleague named Lummox until this is supplanted by a more rewarding relationship (sexually) with his Chinese assistant. Simultaneously, Smith's wife has been carrying on with Mr. Lummox. David regrets her taste but is broadminded about freedom in these matters. Inevitably, the cardboard fragments of the Smiths' lives collapse:-his professional career is imperilled; he is named as co-respondent in the Lummox' divorce; the Smiths are evicted from their faculty house; and David's analyst snaps him out of his ridiculous behaviour into a justifiable cleansing anger which has a salutary effect on the Smiths' marriage....Tom Kaye will do a better job when he escapes the trammels of his own background.