This is meditation on a life of loneliness and futility. Lord Doyle, a gambler, is unable to make any form of human contact, any friendship, any relationship except through baccarat. He wreaks devastation in his own life and on others that he meets, because he has no empathy except with cards. His run of luck, both good and bad, leaves havoc behind him. Not as grim as it sounds – and the writing is compelling and beautiful.