This is a book about the absurdity of public character. It is engaging in its clever wit bit sometimes oversimplifies too much for its own good. Each parody tends to depend on one single trope, and some of these are rather too obvious. Harold Pinter, for example, is continually over-adjusting his aggression for quasi-political ends. The repetition of various characters does not help. There is too much dependence on a childish/prudish view of sex and class. On balance, though, the guiding intelligence to the book is congenial enough to overcome its flaws.