The World's Friendliest People follows the fortunes of a young New Zealander in the final decades of the twentieth century, seeking in vain the qualities his countrymen are traditionally renowned for, finding instead in this age that values have changed - or that they in fact never were what it was always claimed they were. This is the television-educated generation. Theirs is a typical, superficial Western culture, which holds no place for honest words and intentions. The narrator is of the 'Holden Caulfield' (Catcher in the Rye) anti-hero variety. He remains nameless throughout, symbolizing the lack of interest in ones fellow man among those around him, and those he encounters.