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Three people, hitherto unknown to one another, are exceptionally sensitised, partly as the result of neurological changes following a missile strike, to global cruelty and suffering. Their attempts to alert society to much that is unrecognised are met with incomprehension and hostility. They are eventually exiled as threats to society whilst they defend their "compassionate pessimism" against political, commercial, educational and religious opinion. They conclude that the "developed world" is still stone-aged beneath its civilised veneer. This disturbing novel touches upon some of the author's own concerns, for world peace, respect for animal life, and for the arts, music especially. But basically this is a love story about the growth in relationship between a group of idealists, and their attempts to evade forces of oppression as they are watched, warned and eventually thrown out of their native land.