The novel follows the adventures of John Paul Ziller and his wife Amanda—lovable prophetess and promiscuous earth mother, inarguably the central protagonist—who open "Captain Kendrick's Memorial Hot Dog Wildlife Preserve," a combination hot dog stand and zoo along a highway in Skagit County, Washington. Other characters in this rather oddball novel include Mon Cul the baboon; Marx Marvelous, an educated man from the east coast; and L. Westminster "Plucky" Purcell, a former college football star and sometime dope dealer who accidentally infiltrates a group of Catholic monks working as assassins for the Vatican. In so doing Plucky discovers a secret of monumental proportions dating to the very beginning of Christianity.
In this novel, the author uses nonlinear plot progression in the tone of a first-person diary to express his views on religion and other topics. His humorous, scathing and insightful perceptions of those who swirl past the main characters has great comedic value. The book is a cultural icon for the "Children of the Sixties."