Fresh out of high school, Karl Ove moves to a remote fishing village to work as a teacher. He has no interest in the job itself or in any other job for that matter, his sole aim is to save money and start writing. All goes well to begin with but as the nights grow longer, his life takes a darker turn. Drinking causes him blackouts, his repeated attempts at losing his virginity end in humiliation, and to his own great distress he develops romantic feelings towards one of his 13-year-old students. And all the while the shadow of his father looms large.