Colin has a very pleasant life: he is rich, he loves the food his cook makes (Nicolas), he loves his pianocktail (contraction of piano and cocktail, a word invented by Vian) and his friend Chick. One day while having lunch with Chick, Chick tells him that he met a girl named Alise with whom he has a common passion: the writer Jean-Sol Partre (an anagram of Jean-Paul Sartre who was Boris Vian´s friend).
Colin meets Chloe at a party Chick invited him to. They fall in love, marry, but Chloe becomes ill during their honeymoon. As time passes, Chloe's condition deteriorates while the relationship between Chick and Alise turns sour ...One quote to locate Boris Vian's style: "What interests me is not happiness for all men, it is that for each of them."