A heartbroken American writer starts a story about an ice-cold sombrero that falls inexplicably from the sky and lands in the centre of a small Southwest town. Devastated by the departure of his gorgeous Japanese girlfriend, he cannot concentrate on his writing and in frustration he throws away his beginning.
But as the man searches through his apartment for strands of his lost love's hair, the discarded story in the wastepaper basket - through some kind of elaborate origami - carries on without him. Arguments over the sombrero begin, one thing leads to another and before long all hell breaks loose in the normally sleepy town.
Brautigan's fertile imagination twists and pulls at the ensuing chaos to come up with a tender, moving, surreal and incredibly funny tale that is told by a writer at the very peak of his creative powers.