A middle-aged American works out in a Paris gym - an ordinary day, except that he catches the eye of a stranger, Julien, a young french architect with a gleam in his eye. Nothing will come of this, thinks Austin, wary and on the rebound from a bruising affair. Yet slowly, to his amused astonishment, life takes on the colour of romance.
As they dash between Bohemian suppers and glittering salons, all they have to deal with are comic clashes of cultures, of ages, of temperaments. But there is sadness in Julien's past and a grim cloud on the horizon. Soon, with increasing desperation, their quest for health and happiness drives them to Rome, to the shutterered squares of Venice, to Key West in the sun, Montreal in the snow and Providence in the rain - landscapes soaked with feeling which lead, in the end, to the bleak, baking sands of the Sahara.
THE MARRIED MAN is alive with wit, full of extraordinary characters and electric sexuality. But above all, it is a love story. Haunting, aching, stripped of sentiment, it carries the reader - like Austin himself- into untravelled countries, over the rim of love and loss.