For about three-quarters of this book I thought I might be reading some lost classic — a time travel novel that fell into obscurity simply because it came out a couple months after Welles' The Time Machine, a social satire forgotten because it was too far ahead of its time — but then the author remembered books are supposed to have plots instead of being a loose collection of amusing vignettes. While a lesser author like Douglas Adams would've simply tossed in an arbitrary final scene and so produced a comedy classic, Allen had to get all literary about it and add a romantic tragedy that the story like a polar bear in a flock of sparrows.