"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, a "frightful BLEEP" in the words of one acquaintance, 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." This winner of Britain's Booker Prize is caustic, verbally dextrousand highly recommended. Grove Koger, Boise P.L., Id.