Lying on a beach, the narrator of this novel, Petros Abatzoglou, is reminded when he starts drinking of his old friend Mrs. Freeman, whose story he forces upon the female companion who's accompanying him, as if he were testing out his next novel on her. Between reminiscences about other travels and the food he ate there, and breaks to get more food or drink, the narrator tells of Mrs. Freeman's love for Mr. Freeman, her linguistics professor and eventual husband. Told with numerous funny digressions, this book perfectly depicts the emotions of falling in love and the devastating effects of time on relationships and life itself. As the narrator says, "But I've wandered away from my subject again, from Mrs. Freeman, who seems to have become a symbol for us all. I don't know why, but she's gradually assuming the aspect of an endless nightmare: the nightmare of a life made up of senseless details and repetitions."