A bizarre (and very British) story about a thug, Lionel, who looks after his ward and nephew, Des, providing him with fatherly (and very anti-social) advice. Des manages to figure out how to lead a gentle, productive life despite Lionel’s bad influence, until Lionel (while in jail) wins 140 million pounds in the national lottery. Lionel’s thuggish nature, however, isn’t easily changed, and this only causes more problems for Des. The book started out really strong and pretty funny, but I found myself losing interest during the last 25% of the book, as the story began to meander and stagnate. I do like Amis’s way with words, though; I’ve read a few of his earlier books. Not bad, but not great.