Translated from the German by Michael Bullock this exhaustively studies Robert Mohwink, the mass man, and subservient, whose very inconspicuousness is his . Bull at school, at home, he endures a dreary clerkship at a ship broker's in Bremen, his life outside in dancing clauses, tries to fall in love. In the war he is sent to Poland, to Russia; he survives as a prisoner-of-war; he returns to his clerkship, becomes engaged to one girl but falls in love with another, Ilse. A slow in his rise in his work, he is firmly dismissed to a more lowly in and, with downward from there to Valence and Marseilles where he bottom a tally clerk on the docks. A meeting with a ship's officer he had once known him into saving and, when goes off with another, he accumulates enough to buy a ship of his own and have his small and empty revenge on those who have ignored him. this perhaps has some minor value in its portrait of a little man and the world he lived in.