This is the opening line for my film adaptation of the book, because really, this is all the book is about. And I mean entirely. This is all that happens- a bunch of servants (butlers, nanny's, maids, etc) just walk around gossiping about each other and every once and a while steal stuff or have sex. Its a reality show that never happened and is entirely written down.
I'm trying to see some metaphorical connection with the war that's taking place outside (WWII), but I'm not seeing. No body lines up with any country, so I guess at best there's a contrast drawn between the petty squabbles of everyday life and the larger happenings of the world, but I really hate books on this theme because it pushes the individuals problem to a point where it matches the gravity of world wide issues. No, a butler sleeping with a maid is not as important as genocide. Sorry. I don't care who is the butler. I could be the butler for all I care, it doesn't match up.
I also see a problem with this book having absolutely nowhere to go. I can see people getting even more raunchy, and other people getting even angrier and more scandalized, but I've already checked out. I had a hard enough time keeping everybody's names straight since they are addressed by three different names which are randomly interspersed at will (first name, last name and occupation), with a few of them even taking on a fourth as the owner of the house has a tendency to call all of the male servants by the same name.
I'm hoping for a twist or something to pull this book out, but I'm not crossing my fingers too hard.