Toru Okada's cat has disappeared.
His wife is growing more distant every day.
Then there are the increasingly explicit telephone calls he has recently been receiving.
As this compelling story unfolds, the tidy suburban realities of Okada's vague and blameless life, spent cooking, reading, listening to jazz and opera and drinking beer at the kitchen table, are turned inside out. He embarks on a bizarre journey, guided by a succession of characters, each with a tale to tell.