Mr. Wissy Jones, from United Lymphomiloid, arrives in the New England town of Pequod on a corporate mission; he is to purchase children of exceptional intelligence. His matter-of-fact offer to buy Barry, a fat kid with a high IQ instigates a congressional inquiry.
Meanwhile, Jones skillfully garners support from every quarter in Pequod, from the pioneer-stock, six foot female principal of the elementary school and Barry's closest ally, to his own mother, a slatternly lower class housekeeper who's obviously the source of Barry's brains. Everyone has an opinion about Barry, usually not too good, ranging from jealousy, misunderstanding to just plain contempt (he's fat.) Meanwhile Barry and his street-wise blue collar friend seek to prevent his sale by a hilarious act of sexual misconduct.
What happens to the children purchased by U. Lymphomiloid is openly discussed by Wissy Jones during the trial. Yet despite the shocking revelation, Jones has manipulated the town to his side and even co-opts some surprising allies.
This isn't just an examination of an education system that strives to produce a bland mediocrity and mistrusts talent, it is the story of the intolerance of society for individuals and members of minority religions, race, anyone different than the mass average. There is a lot behind this readable book and it is fresher than every.