In 1970s London, with its counter-culture and poverty, Logan is just barely surviving with the occasional freelance writing assignment and the help of his friend Ben, enduring petty humiliation at his literary agency until Gloria reenters his life. An interlude of intimate and true friendship, and the inheritance of a house in France from his old friend, Cyprien, buoy Logan and reignite a tenuous passion for life. It's about looking ahead, Gloria tells him. But no sooner does Gloria leave than an accident renders Logan penniless, surviving on dog food, and ready to try anything: looking ahead, and even becoming an unknowing accomplice to an underground revolutionary extremist group. Only the election of Margaret Thatcher and his country house in the south of France provide incentive to leave a decaying past and embark on his final adventure.
Logan moves to France and lives out tranquil days of biking through the countryside, playing chess and enjoying local celebrity as an intellectual and author. But the elderly, agitated Logan sifting through his past is feeding a bonfire with discarded scraps from his life. He suffers a heart attack but embarks on one last love. Only then does he complete his masterpiece.