Anatole was a Viennese doctor studying for his American license examinations in New York, and supporting his wife and child on the pittance made in an off hours job. His career had been charted for him from childhood; with occasional rebellions, with a tendency to show off his strength, he was superficially content -- until a summer experience opened new doors. The relative who had vouched for their entry found him a night job in a bakery- a job that promised hard work and long hours and more pay. The wife took the little girl to the Catskills where she had a job. And Anatole set to work. It was a strange job, -- dirty, hard, exhausting -- and oddly fascinating, bringing out of his subconscious earthy things he had submerged. The bakery became a symbol of sexual and animal power. He felt a growing fascination for the physical handling of the dough. He translated the impulses it induced into at first an imaginary- then an actual passionate liaison with the counter girl. He met the old baker on grounds of friendship and understanding. And he fought the mad pastry cook over the issues between them. Medicine-family- career were wiped out. Fulfillment and freedom were found in the darkness below the bakery. An oddly absorbing- at the same time an unpleasant and distasteful book.