• This is the story of a Holocaust survivor struggling to adjust to life after World War II; the main character is a journalist whose own experiences during the holocaust have left him, like many others, with a strong sense of despair and self-loathing such that he finds it impossible to find any satisfaction in life, even with the encouragement of others.
• The title of the novel refers to an accident that occurs that acts as a catalyst for later events and memories.
• The protagonist is in New York City with his girlfriend Kathleen; he notices the passersby and remarks to himself how haggard everybody looks.
• Kathleen tries to convince him to eat something after he admits to having eaten nothing all day.
• As Kathleen and her boyfriend attempt to eat a hamburger, he finds himself disgusted by the smell of the meat and recalls a time...
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