Narrator Ellis Burt, the 74-yesr-old son of a poor white Georgia sharecropper, grew up during the Depression and served six years in the penitentiary while still a young man. Moving restlessly back and forth from time present to time past, he recalls his childhood, courtship and marriage, trying to sort out what brought him to the one awful moment when he fell hapless victim to his early social deprivation. As a boy, he witnessed the horrible mutilation murder of his black friend, Isaiah, at the hands of Ellis's own hateful uncle and their bigoted landlord. When he leaves home, he joins a traveling carnival, falls in love, marries and, now father of a son, settles happily down. But, in one irretrievable outburst of violence, he destroys his idyll and is condemned to wander beyond redemption-until his life comes full circle in a surprising way.
Very interesting style of writing. A deep south narrative, just like people really talk here. I don't like the use of the "n" word...never have. It's a good story, but sad.