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Harold is an auditor for the Internal Revenue Service, living his entire life based on the timing of his wristwatch. However, he staoon starts to hear a woman's voice. Unforturnately for him, no one else can hear it. When Harold talks to literary professor Jules Hilbert, played by Dustin Hoffman, Who comes to the same conclusion the psychiatrist Harold saw previous; dull life is not something commonly seen in novels. However, Jules then recognizes aspects of a literary work in Harold's story ("little did he know"), and encourages him to help identify the author, first by determining if the work is a comedy or a tragedy. Harold then decides to live his life to the fullest and not to live it not according to his wristwatch.
However, he soon learns of Karen Eiffel, played by Emma Thompson, a famous author of fictionalized books in which she kills off her main character off at the ending. It turns out it's her voice Harold is hearing. When Hilbeert tells him who she is, Harold soon contacts her by phone, telling her that she's writing his story, even proving it by telling her one sentence she typed that Hatrold likes to listen to the paper rubbing each like because it reminds him of listening to the ocean, shocking Karen.
They both soon meet and Karen is awed that he is axactly what she invisioned. Karen explains she officially didn't type the entire book yet, but has a rough draft on paper. Harold asks if he can read. However, too scared to do so, he asks Hilbert read it. Sometime later, both Hilbert and Harold meet again and Hilbert tells Harold that the rough draft does have Harold die in the end.
With Karen now on the brinking point of whether or not going to kill off Harold, now knowing in reality, he will die the same way as in the rough draft, she decides to not by having him surviving.