This is an often funny, yet daringly truthful novel focusing on a group of workers in a motor car factory, showing the boredom of the assembly line and the odd camaraderie that builds against it. It also shows the attempted escapes from the boredom via occasional madnesses and adventure.
The main character is Albert Steep. He has a girlfriend called Daffy who he suspects wants to get married. Albeit doesn't know much of what he wants except a young lady he sees on the bus in the mornings but he's fairly certain he doesn't want to get married to Daffy.
The Plant Manager is Aubrey Cranby. He worries about his job. He thinks he's been Plant Manager for too long. He wonders where his promotion has gone, and if Head Office still remember him. He suspects his file is propping up a wonky table leg.
Personnel Manager is Nicholas Sloan. His younger wife has left him to live with 'Something in sanitary-ware' called Douglas. He keeps seeing her smile 'the smile with her eyes that are the deepest brown he has ever seen'. He wants her back more than anything else in the world. One day she telephones him and asks if she can collect her sewing machine from the house. She mentions that Douglas is away at a seminar. This could be his last chance.