~~On this particular morning, Samuel Cramer begins a day which he hopes will be truly memorable - in the evening he is invited to the awards ceremony for a celebrated literary prize for which he is shortlisted and which he can't help believing he might win. But there is a surprise in store for him at breakfast: his wife, his great love and his muse is leaving him. This is but the beginning of a bizarre and disastrous day...That protagonist is one Samuel Cramer, the Admiral and lover of both horizontal and vertical grand voyages, the writer who likes it when 'it's in your face', the chronicler of his age, his town and his contemporaries and a man who is both difficult and endearing.
And then there are his women: those he loves, those he hates and those he dreams of but who don't exist. And then there are his friends, his neighbours and his doses of poison: Michel Houellebecq, Sibelius, Rimbaud, Duras, Melville, Hölderlin, alcohol, boredom, hope and despair, provocation, shame, irony, banter and all the things he will never be able to say.