The more I knew of Haffner,' writes Adam Thirlwell in The Escape, 'the more real he became, this was true. And, simultaneously, Haffner disappeared.' In a forgotten spa town snug in the Alps, at the end of the twentieth century, Haffner is seeking a cure, more women, and a villa that belonged to his late wife. But really he is trying to escape: from his family, his lovers, his history, his entire Haffnerian condition. For Haffner is 78. Haffner, in other words, is too old to be grown up.