'His mouth had been used as a latrine by some small creature of the night, and then as a mausoleum.
During the night, too, he'd somehow been on a cross-country run and then been expertly beaten up by secret police.
He felt bad.'Jix Dixon has a terrible job at a second-rate university.
His life is full of things he could happily do without: the tedious and ridiculous Professor Welch, a neurotic and unstable girlfriend, Margaret, burnt sheets, medieval recorder music and over-enthusiastic students.
If he can just deliver a lecture on 'Merrie England', a moderately successful career surely awaits him.
But without luck, life is never simple . . .