The world in which Allan Berg, a professor at an American university, lives is both close to and different from ours: his country is on the verge of becoming a totalitarian state. Clandestine movements are trying to oppose courageous but vain resistance. Berg himself seems resigned, more preoccupied with the problems of his emotional life, when a stranger gives him a strange book, while warning him that the secret services are relentlessly tracking those who have had it in their hands. How is the academic, very skeptical at first, persuaded himself that this book contains a secret that would allow his country, and the world, to avoid the worst? What drives him to give up his career and the woman he loves, to risk his life, to embark on an agonizing and dangerous odyssey that will take him to an unparalleled experience?