As a boy, sweeping up the hair in the salon of the Professor of Tonsorial Artistics, Rudyard Kipling 'Rudy' Knoesen's dreams were of greatness and escape. Never did he imagine that his twilight years would be spent sleeping in parks and eating from dustbins in foul-smelling alleyways. Rescued from certain death on the streets and placed into care in the home for the aged, Rudy reflects with wry, sardonic humour on the paths he'd chosen to follow. Looking at his companions - 'faces like picked bums' - sometimes Rudy wonders whether the brotherhood might not have been the more attractive option. In this heartwarming, poignant novel about a life that never really seemed to get off the ground, Yvonne Burgess firmly establishes herself as a major force in South African fiction.