Barry, an eighteen-year-old son of a newly rich California family, graduates from parochial school and heads for Alaska. Here he seeks release from the embarrassing snobbery of his mother, from the stifling attitudes of a bourgeois neighborhood, from the enforced regime of celibacy. Here he finds monotonous labor and not such monotonous romance with the young Eskimo, Mary, a ""mixed up"" kid who paints and who, with considerable tears and verbal protest, indulges Barry's image of himself as a Don Juan. Barry, so carried away by the new beauty he has found in Mary's shack, decides to marry the allegedly pregnant girl, a decision which he quickly reverses, deciding that she is a Jezebel, and that he had best return home. A kind of step brother to Holden Caulfield, Barry lacks the depth, the sweetness, and the insight of the Salinger character and emerges as a humorous embodiment of the callowness, selfishness, and quixoticism of spoilt middle class American youth. Describing himself in words of one syllable, lavishing inane perceptions of his world and times upon the reader, Barry is a caricature of someone who never quite existed, a figure of fun who is never really appealing or convincing.