Abe Lucas, a Philosophy professor, has just started his tenure at Braylin College in Rhode Island. His reputation as a womanizer and loner genius precedes him. He, however, has become disillusioned with life as a whole, the manifestation of his feeling being that he is blocked mentally and physically, meaning that he is no longer writing and has not had sex in quite some time. He is only one step before thoughts of committing suicide, he having romanticized the notion of death. He, as a person, is, however, still able to attract people to himself sexually, two women at Braylin who make their interest known to him. The first is Chemistry professor Rita Richards, who is dissatisfied with her marriage. The second is Jill Pollard, one of his students who is already in a committed relationship with Roy, a fellow student. While Abe does succumb to Rita's advances however unsuccessfully, he is careful to keep his relationship with Jill as a platonic one, despite Jill's feelings for him being what, at her tender age, she may consider true love. While out with Jill, Abe stumbles upon thoughts of an act of existentialism. Carrying out that act, without telling anyone, ends up rejuvenating him and brings him back into the land of the living, in turn altering both his relationships with Rita and Jill. That act has some unintended consequences, which leads to him finding out how strong his instinct for survival is in his rejuvenated state.