A boy comes of age near Swansea. He belongs to the baby-boom generation but this is a time and place of bust. Eight-strong at the offset, his group of friends includes Will, a council estate intellectual, and Karen, who graduates from lonely cocktails on the dance floor to convivial militant vandalism. But first love ends for two of them in sordid circumstances, and the group is three down at the finish, when the narrator faces an uncertain future. This novel explores the emergence of political identity, which grows from class to national consciousness and celebrates that brand of idealism that has never since the early Eighties recaptured its clarity of purpose.