In the middle of a desert 'somewhere south of nowhere', to a forlorn house made of metal and clapboard, a secret war adviser has gone to find space and time. Richard Elster, seventy-three, was a scholar - an outsider - when he was called to a meeting with government war planners. For two years, he tried to make intellectual sense of troop deployments, counterinsurgency, orders for rendition. He was to map the reality these men were trying to create. At the end of his service, he retreats to the desert, where he is joined by a young filmmaker intent on documenting his experience. A deeply unnerving and brilliant work from one of our greatest living writers.