NTV, a giant British media octopus, has invented the ultimate reportorial invasion of privacy: an implanted camera system which transmits directly from the eyes of its star reporter. In the last stages of filming a terminal illness for the NTV Human Destiny Show, Roderic abruptly calls quits to this obscenity by deliberately burning out the photoelectric implants, destroying his own vision in the process. Unable to cope with the resultant flood of lurid publicity, Rod escapes with his ex-wife and child to the seclusion of an Italian villa owned by his old friend Marcus Wolfe, a former novelist who has inexplicably retired to a life of cynical solitude and model-window making. It is soon obvious that Marc's actual business in Italy is something much more malefic; confronting the truth of his friend's corruption, Rod is at last able to confront the moral implications of his own condition. Compton carries off parts of his design (notably the character of Marc) so well that it's hard to forgive his failures--the outrageous lapses of style, the pretentiously half-realized political background, the veneer of technological gimmicks passing for an account of the near future.