Since [the American Revolution], genealogists have been pondering the possibilities had President Washington been a bit more power-hungry. As early as 1908, newspapers published accounts of history buffs who worked their way through the Washington family tree using rules of succession to determine the rightful heir to the theoretical American throne. [...]
[Ancestry.com's Megan Smolenyak] concluded that leadership would have passed not to men named Abraham or Teddy but to those named Lee, Felix or Frank. "We would have had a King named Spot, how cool is that?" Smolenyak muses of the son who would've fallen between King Bushrod, the first, and Bushrod II.—Newsweek.com, The Man Who Would Be King, 08 October 2008
History knows Preston Treacher Knoist as the last Knoist Brother. The Knoists hunted for themselves the first rabbit they learned to make vanish. The lame Knoists chased it. The blind ones caught it. A naked one put it in his pocket.
After delighting audiences to full capacity for over a generation, the Knoist Brothers Circus folded in the final days of the American Civil War. The other two Knoists, the strong man, and a plumber were killed by Hermes, The World's Mightiest Snail. Survivors did not ask for their money back.
In 1913, Preston T. Knoist was found clenched to an inactive boiler of the abandoned Chicago Liberty Paints factory, penniless and dead. With him were what may perhaps be described best, from stitched silken scraps, as a collapsed unfinished Brobdingnagian bladder, and a journal and sketchbook archive of over forty-five thousand pages. Many scientific and cultural movements that lived and died in the 20th Century were named with words and phrases coined in the fevered scribblings Knoist left behind, such as pasteurization, palimpsest, philatelist, and a half-burned curse to compel its victims to cut footloose.
Our story is about a boy with no friends who talks like what he says is always new and of interest to you, no matter how strange or boring. He finds a runaway circus dog, which then wins a radio call-in quiz to be King of the World. As pilgrims to a larger world, our protagonists must learn to survive the antics and infamy to ensue.