Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Detours” as Want to Read:
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview


3.87 of 5 stars 3.87  ·  rating details  ·  39 ratings  ·  16 reviews
Joel Patterson should be happier than ever. He's just returned from a two-week vacation in London, where he met Philip, who might be the man of his dreams. Instead, Joel's heading to Maine for his mother's funeral. He quits his job to fulfill one last request for his mother: unload his parents' albatross of an RV by delivering it to an old family friend—in California.

Paperback, 288 pages
Published November 15th 2011 by Bold Strokes Books (first published November 1st 2011)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Detours, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Detours

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 103)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
Dec 16, 2011 Bob rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommended to Bob by: Nathan Smith Review
Shelves: m-m, gay-fiction
There is a mantra for children's librarians to get the right book to the right child at the right time. Well, this was my right book at the right time. It was delightful. This is story of Joel and his mother who banter on a heartwarming journey driving an RV from Maine to California. I never knew what was happening next or where they story was going. It was that well constructed. It kept me reading well into the night to finish. There is humor, pathos, romance (although I was thinking there may ...more
Kat ~ Forever Book Lover ♥
You can find the complete review at Forever Book Lover

I took away so much more than I think the author may have intended, I say that in a good way. Have you ever had a dialogue in a movie, or the words in a song reach you in a place so deeply hidden behind the walls you have built to protect your fragile soul? Well, this book did it for me and honestly, I don't know why this book affected me the way it did.

I love the dialogue between Joel and his mother, it was witty and heartwarming. I enjoyed
Nathan Sims
Jeffrey Ricker scares me.

It seems like any time I pick up his work these days, I find he’s tapped into my brain (The Unwanted: the answer to my teenage fantasies; Fool for Love’s “At the End of the Leash” feeds my love of dogs and my secret voyeuristic streak; Riding the Rails’ “Mount Olympus” brought back memories of the television miniseries of Bradbury’s Martian Chronicles from my childhood, while also reminding me of Burroughs’ John Carter series, and a smidge of my favorite show from the l
Nathan Burgoine
I bumped into Jeffrey Ricker for the first time when I read his short story “At the End of the Leash.” It was a charming story, a gentle piece with a sweet romance potentially botched by the snowball effect of a little white lie of omission. The humour was deft without slugging you in the face, the sweetness didn’t approach saccharine, and the overall effect left a real smile on my face.

It also featured a wonderful dog and made my husband point out that none of the story could have happened wit
Elisa Rolle
I had the wrong idea this was an almost comedy type of romance, and that is the spirit I started reading it, to then, almost immediately, realizing there was something deeper, and even if Joel, the main character and narrating voice is a mix of bittersweet and spicy, I tend to classify the novel more on the discovery/journey life genre other than romance. Truth be told, and that is also where the major points lie for me, I felt like the real relationship was that between Joel and his dog Dudley, ...more
Rebekah Weatherspoon
Like Mel Bossa's Split, Detours does an excellent job of showing how different our lives are from the lives of our parents. Main character Joel uses the month following his mother's death finding himself through interactions with people from his past, distance and recent, his mother's hilarious ghost, his aging father and his new love, Phillip. I think a lot of people can relate to Joel whether who've been haunted or not.

I have no idea how I didn't sob my eyes on during several points in this n
Sean Kennedy
(3.5 / 5)

A breezy, captivating book with some poignant scenes, although some characters really needed a little more backstory or resolution.
Well written and enjoyable book about a man that after his mother unexpectedly dies begins a journey, with her guidance, of finding out about himself and her and what it means to grieve, grow and take risks. The writing style is easy and story told with bits of humor that made me smile.
Amazing how sometimes we pick up a book and find similarities between ourselves and the characters. Jacob, the main character recently returning from Holiday in London, receives a call (none of us want to receive), the death of a parent. Having not been informed of his Mother's illness he feels cheated, then she appears to him as a ghost, (doing the things Mom's do best when their alive). As with many Gay Men, his relationship with his Dad is strained/awkward to say the least. The love of family ...more
Jon O
Aug 05, 2013 Jon O rated it 3 of 5 stars
Shelves: gay
I think the trouble with the book was my expectation. I kept wondering why Joel's mother was lingering around.. was there a brilliant ending that would explain all that but somehow, the ending got me a bit smirking, comparing this ending to the great Brokeback Mountain. Of course these two stories were not of the same level.

I did not dislike Detour but I would not say that I was over the moon with this book either. What we have was a gay American who could not decide what he would want to do wi
Mark Lancaster
I enjoyed the book. I wasn't too sure to begin with, but something kept me reading and then I really got into it. I wasn't sure, either, about the device of Joel talking to his dead mother, but it worked and added pathos and poignancy to the text. It was added interest for me, too, that Joel and Philip met in London, at the secondhand bookstalls under Waterloo Bridge. I can see how recogition of a place or experience can appeal (perhaps this is why some British shows are made into US versions?). ...more
Erik Orrantia
I had a hard time with this one; I couldn't wait till it was over. I couldn't swallow a dead mother who returned from after life to be nothing but sarcastic and rude. The opportunities that the protagonist had for character development were often rushed--a few paragraphs summarizing pieces that might have been interesting--but the author wasn't able to show instead of tell. I never found a climax or other key parts of plot. I never saw much conflict that wasn't easily resolved--the biggest suppo ...more
This was a hard book to classify and a book that didn't grab me from the get go. That said it's a book that snuck up on me and managed to wrap it's self around my heart. The characters are slightly shallow and not fully developed but given that most of them are still trying to figure life out that makes sense. This book had many poignant moments but not a real cohesive whole. This book had great promise and it showed but it lacked consistency. Over all I enjoyed the book but it's not one I'd rer ...more
S.M. Johnson
Road trip...

Detours was a sweet tale of that part of life between child and orphan - Joel's mother has died, and Joel is forced to confront his father's frailty. Joel sets out on journey that is both physical and emotional, and, with his dead mother egging him on, maybe learns a thing or two.
This was really dismal. No sign of a plot, threadbare characters, pointless dialogue - I could go on but why bother?
Destiney marked it as to-read
Jun 18, 2015
Marketa marked it as to-read
Apr 06, 2015
Kelly H. (Maybedog)
Kelly H. (Maybedog) marked it as to-read
Oct 03, 2015
Curtis marked it as to-read
Oct 07, 2014
Ken marked it as to-read
Sep 23, 2014
Dean Cole
Dean Cole marked it as to-read
Sep 21, 2014
L.A. Witt
L.A. Witt marked it as to-read
Sep 21, 2014
« previous 1 3 4 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
I'm a writer, editor, and graphic designer. My first novel, Detours, was published in 2011 by Bold Strokes Books. My second novel, the YA fantasy The Unwanted, is out now. I've been published in the anthologies Paws and Reflect, Fool for Love, Speaking Out, Men of the Mean Streets, Foolish Hearts: New Gay Fiction, and others. I also have several short stories available for download from Untreed Re ...more
More about Jeffrey Ricker...
The Unwanted Straightening Up New Normal Maternal Instincts Fool For Love: New Gay Fiction

Share This Book

No trivia or quizzes yet. Add some now »