Wheldon's first novel won the Triple First Award in Britain, whose judges were no less than Graham Greene and William Trevor--but few readers will share the old masters' enthusiasm for this spare allegory. A young man called A. is on trial for writing a ""seditious"" manuscript and then daring to publish it. Before sentence can be passed, however, he takes off rather easily, following the railway tracks that sit on a massive viaduct bisecting the city. (No train has run on these tracks in many years.) And, as he makes his way numbly along the rail bed, A. finds himself in company of other ""travellers"" like himself, all as smudgy and spectral; they all trudge down the parallel lines of ineffability together, sowing and gleaning true and false wisdoms now and again. . . but never quite able to exactly say why and whither they wander. (""'Where does the railway originate?' A. asked the question but expected no answer."") So, finally, the line seems to end again at the viaduct--it's been a big circle!--and A.'s trial begins where it left off: his sentence and subsequent execution follow. An arid parable, with only the palest, blurriest echoes of Kafka.