The Offer follows Stan Pickering, a disenchanted, middle-aged professor of English at a small Ohio college, as he travels the world over a four-month period and is transformed by the experience. Given this sudden opportunity to travel by his recently deceased dissertation advisor, Stan leaves his utterly pedestrian life and discovers a world of excitement and revelation through a series of encounters with places and people. The places were carefully planned by his advisor; the people, however, mostly women, are totally unplanned. In this novel, the places themselves become the central focus of the adventure. Cambridge in England, the island of Skyros in Greece, Damascus in Syria, Penang in Malaysia, Nanjing in China, St. Petersburg in Russia each becomes the recipient of Stan's gifts, and each gives Stan far richer gifts of a new life.