Working all day at a lathe leaves Arthur Seaton with energy to spare in the evenings. A hard-drinking, hard-fighting young rebel of a man, he knows what he wants and he's sharp enough to get it. And before long, his carryings-on with a couple of married women is local gossip. But then one evening he meets a young girl in a pub, and Arthur's life begins to look less simple. Allan Sillitoe's classic novel of the 1950's is a story of timeless significance.