Caleb Powell always wanted to become an artist, but he overcommitted to life (he's a stay-at-home dad to three young girls). David Shields always wanted to become a human being, but he has overcommitted to art. At antipodes since first meeting twenty-five years ago, they headed to a cabin in the Cascade Mountains and threw down. The focus? Life vs. Art. Over the next four days they played chess, shot hoops, hiked, relaxed in a hot tub, watched My Dinner with Andre, Sideways, The Trip, and talked about everything they could think of--genocide, marriage, sex, Toni Morrison, sports, porn, the death penalty, baldness, evil, James Wood, happiness, sports radio, George Bush, drugs, death, betrayal, alcohol, Rupert Murdoch, Judaism, bad book titles--in the name of exploring their central question.