Pierre Gascar's metaphysical manhunt takes place in postwar Germany, and his fugitive, Paul, who has just escaped from a prison camp, is far more concerned with his spiritual search than his physical survival which is made possible on the tud farm of a German girl, Lena. Safe there, even safer after the departure of her father, the apotheosis of Nazi Germany which in turn is not very different from the other, older Germany, Paul broods on the ""old rivalries, ambition, hatred"" which are residual, on being one of ""the victims of war who keep on living"". Peace is just as lusory in a world which has not really changed. Eventually he leaves the farm to ook for a vagrant girl and his search takes him into the cities- and finally into the conflict of East vs. West. The only resolution he eventually finds is in death... Gascar, a former Goncourt winner, is in many ways a fine writer, thoughtful, and sensitive to the natural world which frames, shadows, and often symbolizes the reconnaissance which is predominantly dispiriting but rarely moving.