jean jacque-louie is a naive young english man who should have never had the opportunity to discover just how little he meant to those he thought the world of. lillian on the other hand is an intelligent, cold american who takes it upon herself to complete his education, so that he is left in no doubt of just how insignificant he really is. her main motivation for doing that is her belief that everyone should be forced to come to terms with who they really are, no matter how self destructive that may turn out to be. not that that is any real concern of hers, as her principal philosophy in life has always been: ‘in order to be cruel one must first be kind’. so with that one thought in mind she decides that the best way to realise her ambition for jacque, is to avail him of the opportunity to overreach himself both socially and intellectually. however, in order to achieve this, she must first personally guarantee his passage into a section of society he really has no right to enter. a world populated by people who, if it wasn’t for just one tiny flaw in all their histories, would have all been at the very pinnacle of their chosen professions. instead, they are all resigned to languish in the lowly backwater of their own making, which they call the society of lost souls. Somewhere they can all go to feed their well educated palettes and exercise their good taste and judgement over all things, including Jacque, with no apparent interference. yet to everyone’s surprise, not least lillian’s, when jacque becomes their main source of sport, he shows himself to be more resilient than any of them would have given him credit for. In fact and on the contrary, once he has come to terms with how little his own life appears to be worth, he becomes the adversary they all aspire to beat.