Adam and Barbara are a young Catholic married couple living in London whose life may get even more difficult as Barbara can be pregnant of their fourth son. The story is set just in a day, since Adam gets up, goes to the British Museum where he is doing his thesis, until he comes back home at the end of the day.
As in Joyce’s Ulisses the main protagonist is a man whose reflexions and worries are the plot of the book. In every chapter Lodge describes different parts of the day and tries to introduce us in different situations, which he uses to emulate some welknown novelists. Apart from Joyce , we can read references to Kafka, Virginia Wolf, Hemingway, even Orson Wells. In fact the author is experimenting with a plot and introduce the reader in the “Modern” novel where all the characters and situations are referents.
At the end Adam goes back home and is Barbara, as Molly does in Ulysses, who ends the book with a soliloque trying to explain her husband’s anxieties and worries.