Eighteen, untouched, and protected only by the unhesitatingly right instincts she brings to life and love, a young and nameless girl comes up to London and becomes one of a small colony of captive tenants who live in the grotty house of Steve, a dyke, who may not collect the rent but gets it in other ways. There's Simon, a hustler; and Alice, on hard drugs -- ""like a profiteroll -- brown and soft and empty""; and ugly, lazy, sick Cliff who may have killed a girl; and of course the predatory Steve. Before long she has fallen in love with Feat, an artist-genius-child-patsy and she hopes she can salvage him, even with an unwanted baby on the way. She doesn't (the ending is terrible indeed) and perhaps the acceptance of defeat is the primary condition of survival. . . . A nightcrawling horror story filled with casualties who might have walked off a Warhol set, graphic in its particulars down to the last flattened toothbrush in the communal loo. You'll know where you've been, and certainly why, since there's enough feeling to reclaim the experience. This is a new writer with an exceptionally sure touch whether true to life or close to death of one kind or another.