Martin Lockwood is a man with a lot of grievances: his wife doesnt understand him, and his mistress is too understanding; he has failed to fulfil his early promise, and his Ph.D thesis on psychological depression is stuck for lack of any original ideas. Until he encounters Ruth Ledbetter, a nineteen-year-old drop-out whos into suicide. Ruth is clever, unbalanced and a potentially dangerous person, who soon insinuates herself into Martins life, his home, and his work. Especially, she takes over the thesis, providing it with an original if questionable theme - that behind every depressed person is a parasite person, a buoyant, outgoing type who effectively sucks the victim dry.
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