Having abandoned Britain to its 1980s recession, architectural historian Roy Burnell operates out of Germany. Moving around the more outrageous parts of the globe, his task is to list architectural gems threatened by war, history and human awfulness. Burnell's mind is also threatened. Someone has stolen a chunk of his memory - ten years, in fact - and the more salacious bits, such as marriage to Stephanie, have been chopped up, recorded, and sold to lovers of soft porn everywhere. Still hoping to recover his missing years, the unfortunate Burnell continues his eventful travels, which take him to long-lost parts of the old Soviet empire. Set not too far in the future, SOMEWHERE EAST OF LIFE is packed with bizarre characters and memorable tableaux - of Hungary, Frankfurt, Georgia, the wastes of Turkmenistan and the depths of Norfolk - in which, in true Aldiss style, tragedy and comedy co-exist cheek-by-jowl.