tells the story of Paul Brawley, a young, gifted, aimless PhD candidate at Yale University. Paul has just moved into an apartment with his pragmatic girlfriend Jen, and is struggling to complete his dissertation before embarking on a career in academia.
There's just one snag: as Paul is unpacking his belongings, he discovers that something has been left behind. A seemingly inconsequential object, but one Paul feels is of great importance to his dissertation and, therefore, to his future: a battered, personally annotated copy of 'Little Dorrit' by Charles Dickens.
He will have to retrieve it from his former roommate - the obstinate, casually sinister Nancy.Paul contacts Nancy, but she will not cooperate. She blithely thwarts Paul's clumsy and increasingly frantic efforts to retrieve his book. Caught between an impatient girlfriend and an equally impatient thesis advisor, Paul starts to lose his grip.