Gabriel is dying from an undisclosed illness. He relives his brief 20 years, remembering his parents' over-protectiveness, his wild friend Finnigan who encouraged him to do terrible things, and his dear dog Surrender.
Told from the perspectives of Gabriel and Finnigan, the voices are eerily alike in tone.
It slowly emerges that Gabriel is not at home as he thinks, but in a hospital - and chained to his bed.
The story reaches its climax as he recalls the terrible humiliation of being dragged home from a party by his mother in front of all his peers, leading to the shocking revelation that he killed his own parents.
It is never made clear in this brilliant, chilling novel whether Gabriel's memories are real or simply in his mind.