In the summer of 1965, Will MacIntosh, a naive but highly inquisitive twenty-two-year-old from Canada, embarks on a life-changing excursion through Europe.
Arriving there, he finds the trauma of the Second World War still fresh on every street and in every person's mind.
While his high-minded purpose is to investigate the political complexities of the region and envelop himself in its cultural treasures, Will finds himself drawn to more earthly pursuits — usually alcoholic, but occasionally amorous in nature. Amongst his many adventures, Will is mysteriously spied on in Denmark, tries to discuss politics with some very polite Neo-Nazis in Lübeck, is menaced by East German guards at Checkpoint Charlie, inadvertently joins a deadly demonstration in Athens and is mistaken for the devil in Crete. Tempering Will's youthful insights and enthusiasms with its author's more measured view of the world, On Five Dollars a Day is a vivid and engaging snapshot of one man's interactions with people and places all over Europe. It provides a fascinating record of the continent at a particularly critical moment in its history.