Following on from The Picnic at Sakkara and Revolution and Roses, A Guest and His Going is the final novel in P.H. Newby's acclaimed Anglo-Egyptian comic trilogy. Set in London during the Suez crisis of 1956, it charts the misadventures of Edgar Perry as he attempts peacefully to establish the suburban Helvetia School of English upon his return from Egypt. Intent on leaving his experiences of north Africa behind him, Edgar finds his quietened life turned upside down with the arrival of his former pupil, Muawiya. Eccentric and fiercely patriotic to his native Egypt, Muawiya's harebrained antics threaten to jeopardise Anglo-Egyptian relations as he careers around London causing havoc wherever he sets foot. Quite apart from this, Edgar has other problems to face: a grumpy landlord, a bored wife and the dawning approach of middle age.
Justly beloved for the humour of its storytelling, Newby's comic novel nonetheless is woven with a seriousness of purpose, much of which derives from the author's own experiences in Egypt during the war. In a developing comic tone, Newby was to explore the same political questions of his earlier work with a levity and open-mindedness absent in his starker war novels.