Former tax inspector Bradley Pearson is an unpublished writer. His precept is perfection; his maxim is wait unlike his best friend Arnold Baffin who is a prolific, highly successful writer of second rate novels. Bradley is retiring to his seaside cottage to write his masterpiece. In a series of smartly comic scenes, his departure is thwarted by a succession of unwelcome visitors and crises: a wheedling ex brother in law, a detested ex wife, a suicidal sister, and a distraught phone call from Arthur who has battered his wife. When the Baffin's teenage daughter asks Bradley to give her a tutorial on Hamlet, "the god of love and art, the Black Eros, the Black Prince" is unleashed with dire and terrifying results.