Horrible modern war between old and young provides Mr. Angus Wilson with his nightmare images of family life, loveless loyalties, the fumbling anxieties of parental tenderness, the distortion of sex, all the myriad middle-class defensive poses. To define his area of interest by negatives: the people he is concerned about are not young, not poor, not happy and not common. But it is not by their attitudes to the poor and the common that to judge Mr. Wilson's people; they themselves might do it, but their concept of snobbery is too subtle for general use. His people are introspective, they speak a self-critical dialect which is so ironical that inverted commas are always sprouting round their key words; but Mr. Wilson is there to look even more deeply within, to expose their faults of discipline like a spiritual director in some modern Port Royal. Indeed, Mr. Wilson remains as acute as ever when analysing the motives of his people.