"The Old Devils" are aged drinking partners whose number is enlarged and enlivened when poet Alun Weaver and his wife Rhiannon return to Wales. Alun is a letch, and Rhiannon still a beauty. Like pebbles dropped into a still pond, the Weavers set off a series of emotional waves that are still breaking at novel's end. Along the way Amis has characteristic fun with sex, drink, and fakery yet displays a largess of spirit lacking in his other geriatric comedy, Ending Up (1974). At least one happy ending is awarded here, to a character who had written off maturity as "an interval between two bouts of vomiting."