For Willi Kufult, prison life means staying out of trouble, keeping his cell clean, snagging a precious piece of tobacco - and dreaming of the day of his release.
Then he gets out.
As Willi tries to make a new life for himself in Hamburg, finding a job and even love, he still cannot escape his past. Gradually he becomes sucked into a world of drink, desperation and deceit, and with one terrible act, he is ensnared in a noose of his own making...
Hans Fallada's dark and moving 1934 novel brilliantly describes a seedy criminal underworld of shabby lives and violent deeds, showing how our actions always catch up with us.