John Courtney Boot, an author of absurd sounding novels and travelogues, at introduction appears to be an alter-ego of the Waugh. He is about to become a war correspondenthe thinks. Lord Copper, head of the Beast confuses him with William Boot, a regular contributor to the newspaper of nothing interesting. Thus, William becomes their foreign war correspondent covering a probably not civil war in the land-locked East-African nation of Ishmaelia. Nothing is sacred in this parody of Fleet Street and in the end it is the press that gets the boot. Aficionados of Waugh will recognize several of the supporting cast: Lady Metroland, Lords Copper and Zinc, Lady Cockpurse, and Professor Jellaby.
You just can't find humor writing like Waugh these days. I am a former newspaper reporter and I was amazed to find the craziness of 1930s England wasn't so different from what I experienced. Satire at its very very best!