Snurts are like normal people, except they have been transformed into highly congenial, cooperative, and manic beings by an extremely contagious virus. An entire town taken over by the virus has led to great crowds of acquiescent, well-mannered, energetic people working together on one project after another. Unfortunately, Snurts have a very short attention span, rarely completing their tasks. Ordinary occupations are only held for a few days or hours, as Snurts simply leave their jobs as soon as they lose interest. This has led to the town being full of half-completed grandiose construction projects and a lack of basic services. As of today, the town has been fully quarantined.
It is very dangerous to allow oneself to be surrounded by Snurts. They all talk simultaneously, and you cannot listen or allow yourself to be engaged in conversation, as it is believed that this process is part of transmittal of the virus. Fortunately, Snurts are easily distracted. You can throw them off by shouting at them and rapidly flicking your fingers in their direction. This is an effective means of ceasing communication, as the Snurts lose their concentration and infection is momentarily prevented. Snurts can be effectively controlled by using a very loud, demanding, and dominating tone of voice, breaking up the impulsively-cooperative groups into slightly more self-minded, self-centered individuals. Research is being performed to analyze the exact means of infection and hopefully find a cure for Snurts. So far, isolating individuals from the herd and constant shouting at them appears to diminish symptoms.
Our protagonist discovers Snurts and Snurt Town when he is staying the night at his uncle’s guest house. In an attempt to investigate strange noises of people shouting and arguing on the other side of the guest house in the middle of the night, he stumbles into a room where FBI agents and prison officials are keeping ten Snurts overnight as a stop-over on the way to a secret holding facility. David's uncle works unofficially with the FBI Snurt Team because his son was transformed into a Snurt under unknown circumstances and he hopes that the FBI will find a cure.
David is swept into the conspiracy by his accidental discovery at the guest house, and goes to Snurt Town on a “ride-along” with Special Agent Max Fielder. When they arrive at the disorganized center of Snurt Town, a large Snurt herd swarms the FBI team and David is separated from the group. From then on, he must fend for himself in Snurt Town.