The second volume of extracts from Frederic Raphael's notebooks (never a diary) covers the first five years of the 1970s. It describes and analyses a variety of experiences which are always opportunities for the precise definition of people, places and events. This is a writer's view of his own life, at once intimate and detached, a detachment made palpable by months spent in the French farmhouse which the Raphaels bought at the end of the booming 1960s. After several hectic and successful cinematic years, Raphael seems poised to direct and write many more films, but the slump of the 1970s leaves him happily free to concentrate once more on fiction. Nevertheless, the notebooks begin with a meeting with film producer Jo Janni and director Jonathan Miller and sketch many figures in the movie and literary world: Arnold Wesker, Norman Jewison, Herbert Ross, Vladimir Nabokov, Sean Connery and others. More attention is given, however, to less famous personalities, whose unguarded stories and characters prime fictional possibilities. Here we have an author, as the French might say, dans ses oeuvres: in the thick of creating who he is and what he wants to say, and how.