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This powerful short novel, with its extraordinary mixture of acute social realism and dark fantasy, was described by J. R. Ackerley himself as "a fairy tale for adults." Frank, the narrator, is a middle-aged civil servant, intelligent, acerbic, self-righteous, angry. He is in love with Johnny, a young, married, working-class man with a sweetly easy-going nature. When Johnny is sent to prison for committing a petty theft, Frank gets caught up in a struggle with Johnny's wife and parents for access to him. Their struggle ...

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