Dedication:ToTheGang:bertieand J.B.and Samand Ritaand Ralfand Juliaand Yusefanf Jimmyand renaudand Richardand Alan againand Lapin againand Professor Aand Dickie Heat-Hotand not forgetting Nix (Hi Nicola!)and Mrs Blaikie (with love from Rufus)and Herbert who said it's all quite laconic oncebut especially and always and once more for my husbandand really just to say to all of them and probably some others tooWhatFunIt'sAllBeen.[GR does not allow 'center' command, so I have to point out that this dedication forms an aeroplane outline]Opening:BOOK ONENOTHING TO HIDEThat bowler-hatted major, his face is twitching,He's been in captivity too long.He needs a new war and a tank in the desert.The fat legs of the typists are getting readyFor the boys and the babies. At the back of my mindAn ant stands up and defies a steam-roller.GAVIN EWART, 'Serious Matters'Last year, at the hot end of spring, in the small town of Hanmouth on the Hain estuary, a rowing boat floated in the middle of the muddy stream.Bookmark is Piazza Navona sent through from Hayes - thankee.Every mother's nightmare: "XX hasn't come back from the shop."P. 34 ...greasy steps and iron escalators of the Underground, diagonal, hung and groaningly floating over great unspecified voids, like public transport envisaged in a nightmare by Piranesi.P.64 'Kitty, libraries aren't for reading books anymore,' Sam said, 'They've given them all away. It's nothing but DVDs and computer terminals nowadays.Literary references alluded to:Thomas HardyThe Royal Hunt of the SunNazi Literature in the Americas The Makioka Sisters Kubla KhanHay FeverOedipus TyrannusThe Cherry OrchardParliament of BirdsSylvia PlathVirginia WoolfLove the writing style but not this tale; so I would read another Hensher as long as it isn't such a boring storyline.