Heinz Kilian, an elder, near-forgotten misanthropic author, suffers all day from an ever-grumbling stomach. Referred to a specialist, grumpy Kilian grudgingly accepts as his last hope a diet consultant. Kilian instantly shares only mutual dislike with Vera Hartel, who infuriates him being as stubborn and immovable, simply taking treats from his plate. She accompanies him with the charming firm driver Behling on a lecture and signing tour tough Germany to promote his latest novel, scheduled by editor Dr. Pögen, Heinz's godfather's son, who alas fears the publishing house is also going down, and Kilian never sold profitably. All the way he bicker with Vera Hertel, an ongoing duel of misanthropy and cynicism against optimism, agreeing on little more then old-fashioned language skills and supporting Behling's unlikely hope for romantic happiness with a crazy girl. Diagnosed with a rare, inoperable tumor, Kilian reconsiders everything.