Blessings in Disguise

by Alec Guinness. Knopf, $17.95. Sir Alec Guinness has chosen to construct his autobiography in terms of subjects and people rather than by means of chronological progression. The system has its weakness, because a given reader may not care for a given topic, but it also has its strength, for every topic (except, oddly, actual theatrical performance) is treated with care, intelligence, and good taste. The section on the author’s naval service in the Second World War is probably only half the story, but that half is a thoroughly amusing study of the earnest and bewildered civilian in uniform.