The landscapes are harsh and unwelcoming, combining frozen expanses, blackened houses, vestiges of the mining industry and abandoned cemeteries. But it is the anguish of individuals that stirs us most deeply - their expressions of distress and confusion, their unfinished gestures, the sense of damage. These are people who appear to live in the ruins of a drama. It is as if their whole bodies were given over to a scream. What all these people, these bodies and these images, have in common is the pure situation, that something is wrong - out of joint. Everything in the book is in the form of a response. Ackerman carefully constructs a whole system of recalls and echoes, reinforcing a primordial desolation, set against the backdrop of an entirely fragmented and disordered world. It is an extraordinary and unsettling vision.