Berlin before the fall of the Wall is a city divided, yet its ordinary residents find ways to live and survive on both sides. There is Robert, teller of bar room anecdotes over beer and vodka, adjusting to a new life in the west; Pommerer, trying to outwit the system in the east; the unnamed narrator, who 'escapes' back-and-forth to collect stories; his beguiling, exiled lover Lena; the three boys who defect to watch Hollywood films; and the man who leaps across the Wall again and again - simply because he cannot help himself.
All are, in their different ways, wall jumpers, trying to lose themselves but still trapped wherever they go. Ultimately, the walls inside their heads prove to be more powerful than any man-made barrier . . .