Ralph Crawford may be a talented short story writer--one of the best in the Bay Area, in America, in the 1970s; hell, in the whole English-speaking-late-middle-twentieth century--but off the page he's only human. In fact, as his wife, Alice Ann, can attest, he's a mess: a jealous but faithless husband, an inveterate bouncer of checks, a plunderer of private misadventures for the sake of his fiction, & an often hapless drunk. When his (similarly human) buddy, Jim Stark--a novelist burning with ambition, promise, & humiliation over his own failed marriage--promises to deliver a cargo of incriminating letters to Ralph's latest paramour, a Dark Lady in Missoula named Lindsay Wolfe, she changes the lives of all four, in ways none of them could predict. Careening across the western states during the twilight of the San Francisco underground, Chuck Kinder's already semi-legendary masterpiece, twenty-five years in the completion, is a rueful, comi-tragic juggernaut of good & bad intentions gone awry, high seriousness & hard living, & the gradual, painful coming-of-age of two couples who have spent the best years of their lives raising bad judgment to an art. With affection & self-savaging wit, Kinder captures the siren song of the writerly vocation in all its squalor, destructiveness, & glory.Chuck Kinder is the author of 'Honeymooners: A Cautionary Tale' with ISBN 9780374172589 and ISBN 0374172587.