Henry Pulling, a retired back manager, meets his septuagenarian Aunt Augusta for the first time in over fifty years at what he supposes to be his mother's funeral; soon after, she persuades Henry to abandon Southwood, his dahlias and the Major next door to travel her way, Brighton, Paris, Istanbul, Paraguay . . . through Aunt Augusta, a veteran of Europe's hotel bedrooms, Henry joins a shiftless, twilight society; mixing with hippies, war criminals, CIA men, smoking pot, breaking all the currency regulations . . . coming alive after a dull suburban lifetime.
A traditional picaresque, a genial tale of vagabonds . . . there is not a word wasted anywhere, the anecdotes are elegant and artful.