The Cardiff Giant, set in Cooperstown, New York, has up its novelistic sleeve Puck's profound declaration, "Lord, what fools these mortals be!" Jack Thrasher, investigative reporter, arrives on the scene to look into the weird disappearance from the Farmers' Museum of a huge human figure. He had been unearthed in the late nineteenth century near Cardiff, New York. Jack confronts locals and outsiders who all have a theory, including that the giant has been reanimated and is lurching throughout the community. They are enmeshed in self-punishing belief systems such as alien abduction, astrology, kabbalistic numerology, New Age rebirthing, and religious dogmas reduced to literal absurdities. The fast-paced action centers around episodes where they pay a sorry price for their beliefs. But skeptics don't fare much better, susceptible as they are to mental disorders that show the faculty of reason is fragile indeed. These characters group and regroup, with romance always on their minds, and finally come to recognitions at once surprising and moving.