While displaying some social attitudes we wouldn't consider acceptable today, this will keep you intrigued to the end. For most of the novel, the central character is waiting for things to happen and seems powerless to move on. But at the same time his journey to Tunisia makes him creative again and helps him reassess his life and friendships. There is an uneasy atmosphere pervades the book, mainly due to the unfamiliar setting and Ingham's sense of foreigness in it.
As Ingham looked at the front door, a man was rudely pushed out and nearly fell. Ingham and Adams stopped to watch. The man seemed a little drunk. He went directly back into the Plage, and was again shoved out. Another man came out and put an arm around him, talking to him. The drunk had a stubborn air, but let himself be sent off in the direction of the white houses behind the fortress .... In the doorway of the Plage now, a tall man and the man who had put his arm around the drunken man were talking together and keeping an eye on the motionless, determined figure, two hundred yards away.
Ingham was rapt. He wondered if they were carrying knives. Perhaps if it was a long-standing grudge.