Angela Carter's 1969 novel, while difficult to find in the United States, is an important work in her oeuvre: it marked her willingness to be hampered less by the demands of realism (the bounds of which she had pushed in her previous novels given their obsessive interest in fantasy) and to give full rein to her interest in the fantastic. In many ways, this short novel is a reworking of the basic story of her previous and better-known work THE MAGIC TOYSHOP, where a young girl is violently transported from the home of her upbringing to a savage and dreamlike realm dominated by a vicious patriarchal enchanter figure, except here we are now more firmly in the genre of fantasy fiction: her Marianne lives in a concrete-constructed world of the Professors and Soldiers, the last bulwark of civilization after a great nuclear war, and she is carried away by a "barbarian" named Jewel to the jungles that now infest Great Britain. (At the point of Marianne's transition, Carter's prose becomes much less sterile and assumes the richer and more dense qualities readers more often associate with her work.) Although the rogue professor living among and dominating the barbarians is an opponent for Marianne, her more complex antagonism is with Jewel, who becomes first her friend, then her rapist, and finally her husband. It might well be that the discomfiting relations of power and sex between the two characters, which are quite difficult to fit into current contemporary paradigms of relations between the sexes, is why this novel is not better known among Carter's work. (The nothing title, which Carter took from the famous Beach Boys song, is also likely a reason.) But it's a rich and fascinating fiction, and deserves to be read.