Fifteen year old Penrod Swayne is going through the motions of his life, falling in love, working an after-school job, hanging out with his retarded older brother, when he starts to hear voices. At first, he believes them to be the thoughts of his friends and his family, and this notion is furthered by his uncle, once the Havre de Grace police chief and now the town drunk.
The plot deals with Penrod's illness and whether or not he is developing a severe mental illness or physiological problem or if in fact he is special, a king of his kind, which is what Uncle Hewitt tells him. Meanwhile, Penn is trying to live his life, date a girl, and continue in school. He is determined to ignore the voices even as they grow slowly to consume his thoughts and overtake his relationship with his parents.
Finally, it all comes down to Uncle Hewitt, his intentions and what he believes is best for Penrod, despite the fact that Penrod's parents feel his presense is detrimental to their son's health.
The review of this Book prepared by Jill Shackelford