Fall semester, 1969: a socially awkward student, Sylvian Matreya, returns to a small Midwestern university in order to continue his studies in physics. Despite his efforts to avoid student activism, he becomes a sought-after recruit by the Great Truth Cloud (a psychedelic hippie cult) and the People's Will (a violent band of revolutionaries). Both seek to indoctrinate him and bring him into their respective movements.
But why? Why him?
Up to this point in his life, Sylvian has been invisible. People call him an "idiot." After the revolutionary murder of a student, our "idiot" seems to drop through the floor of reality into a murky, fantastic world of wild plots and stranger people. And in so doing, Sylvian discovers his own surprising destiny.