Narrator/protagonist Dyson Devereux is not human. Not to say, "extraterrestrial"; but definitely, alien. His only claim to humanity is his physiognomy. Internally, he experiences no emotions in the sense that normal.humans do; his one rule is self-interest. As if to make up for his emotional void, the Universe granted him a high level of intellect; were he tested, he might be considered "gifted." With that high intellectual capacity arise the concomitant qualities of easily acquired boredom, total tactlessness, and elitism. Like most sociopaths, Dyson is self-analytical. All that given, why is he spending his career life as Head of Burials and Cemeteries for his local borough council? Why not, instead, Minister of Defense, Prime Minister, or world domination? One wonders.