This extended novel portraying life (a mixture of the bohemian and the aristocratic) in the Thirties, Forties and Fifties has so much content it will bear any amount of re-reading. The plot evolves around the appearance and reappearance of a few central characters, all linked by the narrator, Nick Jenkins. The ghastly Widmerpool is perhaps the most memorable of these. The volumes dealing with the narrator's experiences in World War II are among the most effective.
Author Paul Torday choosing his desert island book in Daily Mail, 25 January 2013
Contributed by Prue Raper