The hero, after working in an office for years, inherits money from a rich uncle and moves to a respectable apartment. He begins a brief, pointless love affair with a waitress. Violence breaks out and bloodshed occurs on his doorstep. The revolution wins, then abates, and a new regime takes over. As these events swirl around him and change the world, he goes on reading the paper, drinking too much. The serio-comic turns push the polite conventionalities of middle-class life to the point of madness and barely hide the author's despair at the insularity of human existence.