Stalker, sorte de guide, accompagne un physicien et un ecrivain dans la "zone", vaste no man's land ou jadis est tombe une meteorite. Ce territoire contient un secret: "la chambre des desirs" exauçant les voeux de ceux qui s'y rendent.
Near a gray and unnamed city is the Zone, an alien place guarded by barbed wire and soldiers. Over his wife's numerous objections, a man rises in the dead of night: he's a stalker, one of a handful who have the mental gifts (and who risk imprisonment) to lead people into the Zone to the Room, a place where one's secret hopes come true. That night, he takes two people into the Zone: a popular writer who is burned out, cynical, and questioning his genius; and a quiet scientist more concerned about his knapsack than the journey. In the deserted Zone, the approach to the Room must be indirect. As they draw near, the rules seem to change and the stalker faces a crisis.