This is a first-person narrative, set at the time when the American soldiers were returning from the war in the Pacific; Slim Lewis, possessed of a wife and three sons, is in the tattoo business in a Penny Arcade in Seattle and wishes to get out. He sells his house and buys a gorilla show (consisting of Garganga, a huge and ancient chimpanzee- plus a small monkey) for $1500. We then follow the plodding, though authentic, ""telling"" of the Lewis family's daily life as part of five different carnivals. They travel through Washington, Oregon, Montana, Iowa, Missouri, and Oklahoma; finally, at the end of the season, they are forced to sell the gorilla show, and Slim returns to the penny- arcade in Seattle. The tediousness of this narrative is appalling.