John Osborne was among the first of the generation of "angry young men" to reach fame as a playwright in the 1950's. The title of the first part of his autobiography reflects the petty snobbery and attitudes prevalent of England before and after the second world war. This is a thoroughly readable book about a highly intelligent young man growing up in a dysfunctional, working-class family. There are many gems of descriptive writing, such as his description of his boyhood friend, Mickey Walls and the excerpt from his book about Max Miller. There is also a vivid evocation of life on tour with seedy theatrical companies and staying in "digs". The references to characters mentioned earlier become confusing after a while, but the book rarely palls.