Slightly disappointing. There aren't the usual linguistic fireworks that you expect from Burgess, although a few sentances do catch the ear. In terms of plot it's a rather loose jaunt through Soviet-era St Petersberg, with plenty of smuggling and secret police, although the book never gets as exciting as those words would suggest. Burgess has treated the Cold War more successfully in Any Old Iron, or Earthly Powers for that matter. Still, this one's not without interest and some of the comic set-pieces are quite nicely handled.