A disheartening, blow by blow report on two dreary, grimy lives in economically chaotic post-war Italy, on whom the mark of the conquering armies is still strong, this follows Luca, a boy from the country, in his hunt for work in Rome and his hopeless, hapless affairs with a good hearted prostitute. When all avenues for work dead-end, Luca drifts into living off Lidia, fathers a child which is never permitted to see life, successfully nurses Lidia through one illness only to learn that she is dying of tuberculosis. There's some resemblance here to A Tale of Poor Lovers but this lacks that book's power. Taboo for P.L.'s.