While older sister Jeannie is an obedient child and a perfect student, Wayne Banstead takes pride in being called a born thief even as it puts him at odds with his family. When Wayne is expelled from another in a long string of schools, the only option left is the Gafin School for Misdirected Boys whose motto “Help Yourself, Boys” proves strangely fitting. As the new group of thieves, bullies, flashers and firebugs soon discovers, the curriculum of Gafin School is far from typical, as the instructors begin drilling the boys on the Gafin Principle, an equation designed to determine if a crime payoff is worth the risk. Before long, the instructors lay out a daring plan that incorporates the students into a scheme that will launch them into the big leagues. The students soon discover that playing in the big leagues ratchets the risk to an entire different level.
King’s seventh book is a tongue-in-cheek, darkly humorous romp through the world of juvenile delinquents. The lurching pace and unsurprising ending detract from the storyline and U.S. readers may find the language usage unfamiliar but this is classic King humor.
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