When 'dream husband' Xan Meo is vengefully assaulted in the garden of a London pub, he suffers head-injury and personality-change. Like a spiritual convert, the familial paragon becomes an anti-husband, an anti-father. He submits to an Mien moral system - one among many to be found in these pages. We are introduced to the inverted worlds of the 'yellow'journalist, Clint Smoker; to the high priest of hardmen, Joseph Andrews; and to Royce Traynor, the corpse in the hold of a stricken airliner, apparently determined, even in death, to bring down the plane that carries his spouse. Meanwhile, we explore the entanglements of Henry England: his incapacitated wife, Pamela; his Chinese mistress, He Zizhen; his fifteen-year-old daughter, Victoria, the victim of a filmed 'intrusion' that rivets the world - because she is the future Queen of England, and her father, Henry IX, is its king. Martin Amis's new novel is a comic masterpiece, darkly in tune with the endlessly shifting moral values of our troubled planet. But Amis is also concerned with what is changeless and perhaps unchangeable: patriarchy, and the entire edifice of masculinity; the violence arising between man and man; the tortuous alliances between men and women; and the vanished dream that we can protect our future and our progeny.