There's a delicious episode, which I've got to mention in passing, that had me laughing out loud. Serena is asked to come to the presence of four guys and one of the things the five men waiting up there ask her to do is to rank the novelists William Golding, Kingsley Amis and another guy, whose name I forgot, in order of merit (I won't tell which one came out on top in her view...). Serena's love of books, it turns out, is what interests them. Their project is to convince some writers of a leftish but non-communist tendencies, with a view to influencing the British media away from its increasingly anti-western bias.
I've got mixed feelings about this book. For me it didn't work on all levels. As a pure spy story, it fell short. But it's quite clear to me, that the author's purpose was to go beyond that. As a pure literary effort it works beatifully. I was expecting something more spyesque...My fault, not the author's :)