‘Fool’s Errand’ by Louis Bayard

The first of the holiday reads…

Fool\'s ErrandGorgeous, just gorgeous! This book is warm, funny, lively, involving and, er, did I mention gorgeous?

It tells the story of Patrick, a gay man living in Washington DC who falls asleep at a friend’s house and sees the man of his dreams. But has he dreamt ‘Scottie’ (so called because he was wearing a cranberry Shetland jumper) or does he really exist? Patrick sets off on a quest to find Scottie again and embarks on a crazy carousel ride of broken relationships, broken down cars, new friendships, new directions, and ultimate happiness – with a houseful of rats and a dog thrown in for good measure.

Bayard’s writing is sheer joy. The words flow so skillfully that you’re hardly aware of them as you immerse yourself in Patrick’s ever-so kooky world. It’s a real slice of life, too, full of intricate detail and the sort of ruefully amusing everyday disasters that happen (all too often) to us all. I didn’t often laugh out loud, but there was hardly a page where I didn’t smile at something. And the romance, unexpected in a book written by a man, is believable and very, very sweet.

If I had to grumble about anything I’d say Patrick’s change of heart at the end is a little too sudden and unexplained. But that’s only a niggle in a simply wonderful book. This is only Bayard’s first novel. I can’t recommend it enough and will definitely be on the lookout for more.

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