This book was so-so for me. I liked it, but it didn't set my heart on fire. Al is a huge lower-class muscular guy with a scarred face. He's a slow thinker, sometimes so slow it feels like he's mentally disabled, which adds a bit of creepiness to the romance. Lawrence is a petite "pretty" professor of Art History at Cambridge. They meet one night in a dark alley as Al's taking a piss, and Lawrence thinks he's trying to either mug or rape him. That's more hilarious than it sounds, mainly because we see it from Al's perspective and he's puzzled why the drunk he's trying to help keeps giving him his wallet. Al, as it turns out, has enormous artistic talent, a fact discovered and cultivated by Lawrence. This is a fairly decent little story about overcoming class differences.