Honest and evocative, this novel focuses on a handful of Englishmen who meet at the European Club to drink whisky and to alleviate the acute and unspoken loneliness of life in Burma during the waning days of British Imperialism. One of the men, James Flory, has grown soft, clearly comprehending the futility of England's rule. However, he lacks the fortitude to stand up for his Indian friend, Dr. Veraswami, for admittance into the whites-only club. Without membership and the accompanying prestige which would protect the doctor, the condemning and ill-founded attack by a bitter magistrate might bring an end to everything he has accomplished. Complicated by the fact that Flory falls unexpectedly in love with a newly arrived English girl, he must find the strength to do right not only by his friend, but also by his conscience.