In the old song, there's a princess on the road to Oobtiadooh, but is there a road between East and West Berlin? This then shuttles back and forth across the landscape of postwar Germany (like Jakov Lind) with its familiar spiritual checkpoints--divisiveness, dislocation, and an asthenic existence in the ""world the way it is, intact and round and yet like a rotten apple."" As seen, primarily, through the eyes of two young residuals in Dresden Arlecq, whose father died, who spends mornings in bed, writes away on and off at a novel, and Paasch, his friend, a newly accredited dentist, and a reluctant father-to-be by Brigitte whom he refuses to marry, until the ninth month; at the ceremony her veil is entwined with a myrtle wreath. Memories, images, scenes coalesce -- sausage and cheese, Miles Davis and the Monk, random gratifications. At the end Arlecq and Paasch cross over, get drunk, end in a hospital concluding that they ""had left a better world to end up in a worse one."" An enclosed, subterrancan restlessness pervades, and those whom it will not have estranged (the general reader) will admit its effectiveness.