Stripped of the house he grew up in and squatting in abandoned shelters, Lester Ballard survives amongst the godforsaken Appalachians of Tennessee. The period is some time during the 1960s. Divest of kin, social order and the basic skills of articulation, he is considered a pariah in the Sevier County community. He roams the woods with a shotgun, attends a Fair where he wins plush toys that become his only friends before his descent into moral depravity is made complete one night when he comes across the corpses of a young couple in a car
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