Book 1: Chapter 1, The Nuclear Family: His Talk, Her Teeth
* The story begins with the family sitting around listening to Pa (Aloysius Binewski or "Al") telling his children the story of how he met their mother, Lillian Hinchcliff or "Lil," when she was a volunteer Geek at the traveling circus.
* It is revealed that Al and Lil experimented with "illicit and prescription drugs, insecticides and eventually radioisotopes" while Lil was pregnant, seeking to give birth to "freak" children to work in the circus.
* The children, and their birth defects, are introduced: Arturo has been born with flippers instead of limbs; Elly and Iphy are Siamese twins; Olympia is a hunchbacked, albino dwarf; Fortunado (aka Chick) is seemingly normal, but with telekinetic powers.
Book 1: Chapter 2, The Joy of the Worm
* This chapter fast forwards to Olympia (Oly) in her adult life where it is revealed that she is living in...
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