Richard Elster, a retired secret war adviser, has retreated to a forlorn house in a desert, ‘somewhere south of nowhere’. But his planned isolation is interrupted when he is joined by a young filmmaker intent on documenting his experiencing in a one-take film. The two men sit on the deck, drinking and talking. Weeks go by. And then Elster’s daughter Jessie visits. When a devastating event follows, all the men’s talk, the accumulated meaning of conversation and isolation, is thrown into question.
Written in hypnotic prose, this substantial novel is both a metaphysical meditation and a deeply unsettling mystery, from which one thing emerges: loss, fierce and incomprehensible.