The Far Eastern republic of Inevitable Khaos is at war with the repulic of Incredible Khaos and an international conference is gathering in a neutral European capital to discuss the problem. First on the scene come the security authorities wrangling about accommodation for their delegations. Two Russian painters may be spies, refugees seeking political asylum or the advance guard of the Russian delegation. And a young Khaotian patriot decides to live in a tree outside the conference building until peace comes to his country.
Next arrive the delegates themselves: they discuss procedure, protocol and the official language. But the main pre-occupation of each is to utter the precise cliche that will fire the world’s imagination and immortalize his attendance at the conference.
The Looking-Glass Conference is a brilliant political satire. It is uproariously funny, but Mr Blunden’s host of characters are endearingly human and their varied national characteristics are unmistakably true to life.