By all appearances, Laurence Passmore is sitting pretty. True, he is almost bald and his nickname is Tubby, but the TV sitcom he writes keeps the money coming in, he has an exclusive house in Rummridge, a state-of-the-art car, a vigorous sex life with his wife of thirty years, and a platonic mistress to talk shop with. What money can't buy, and his many therapists can't deliver, is contentment. It's not the trouble behind the scenes of his TV show that's bugging him or even the persistent pain in his knee; it's this deeper, nameless unease. Is it a spiritual crisis or just one of the midlife variety. . . Tubby's quest for the source of it will lead into an obsession with Kierkegaard, brushes with the police, gossip-column notoriety, and strange beds and bedrooms worldwide.