A teenager with a thirst for life, dying to learn as his grandfather is learning to die.
Michael lives with his grandma and grandad, attends Percy Grantham Grammar School, plays in the school rock band, 'Toad Fallout', and is a keen amateur astronomer. He just wants a normal life, to grow up fast , go to university, get married, be normal.
But his world is gradually falling apart.
Grandad is dying a slow, painful death. His girlfriend submits to anorexia and has to go into a hospital psychiatric wing to be "monitored". Father is an alcoholic who insists on wearing his vest and underpants to watch television and at every meal announces "What's this muck!". Aunty Joan is forty, suffers from Down's Syndrome but this doesn't seem to have impaired her sexual appetite.
Michael falls in love with a German exchange student and finds solace with her in Germany but we know it’s going to end in tears. Or is it?