This is the winner of the James Tait Black Fiction Prize. For 16-year-old Simon Crimmons there is not a lot to do. Going nowhere, fed up with school, he leaves to work as a driver on the trains. That summer he is introduced to a world of grown-up glamour, strikes and girlfriends. When Simon falls for the ethereal, aristocratic Varie, he finds freedom and adventure but will it be at a price? Too 'posh' for the railways, too 'working class' for Varie, Simon must navigate what it means to be a man as his world is turned upside down.