Hooples, to clear this up right at the beginning, ""make the whole game possible, Christmas Clubs especially, politics, advertising agencies, pay toilets, even popes and mystery novels."" Obviously they're squares and Mott, Norman Mott, is certainly not; he's the oddball that really bounces all the way through this hectic comic nonsense from the time when he's first met, bumming money from his girl, to play the races. She's Sandra, voluminously voluptuous, resistant at first but once initiated, loving and accommodating. Well Mott, who finds life a ""bad comic opera,"" becomes a ticket seller at a state fair; refuses to go in the Army-- he's not a rebel, he just hasn't a cause; spends two years in prison; comes out to consider becoming a real Hoople (marriage to Sandra and work) when he decides to scuttle the Bible-balloon mission of a Reverend Smiley Harley Gurrey (viz. Billy Graham) who has been influencing Sandra's mother. All of this travels everywhere (it is contemporary commentary on religion, war and peace, the South, race, etc.) while sometimes one suspects ending up nowhere in particular; but there's lotsa hoopla goin' on.