The writer-narrator of The Bulgarian Truck has hit upon a new technique for constructing a novel, which he calls "a building site beneath the open sky," but he can't seem to persuade his more widely read wife, Marianne, a character from an earlier novel of his, that it's any good. She is in New York, receiving treatment for a mysterious condition hitherto unknown to medical science, and her sardonic advice, imparted over the telephone, only hinders the novel's progress. Meanwhile, the narrator's extra-marital affair with Milena, a young Slovak novelist who writes in French, is turning sour, not helped by the large age difference between them and the fact that her Parisian publisher is far more prestigious than his. The affair ends after an acrimonious exchange of e-mails, in which she is ultimately revealed to be nothing but a literary device. Interspersed among the hapless narrator's accounts of his novel's growing pains, the story of the characters he has invented--Tsvetan, a Bulgarian truck driver, and Beatrice, an impenetrable French erotic dancer haunted by a childhood obsession with hedgehogs--unfolds according to its own oneiric logic, before hurtling to a fatal conclusion.