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3.74  ·  Rating details ·  50 ratings  ·  17 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)
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Average rating 3.74  · 
Rating details
 ·  50 ratings  ·  17 reviews

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Nathan Sims
Apr 16, 2014 rated it really liked it
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
Nov 11, 2011 rated it it was amazing
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
'Nathan Burgoine
Nov 07, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: glbt
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
Kat ~ Forever Book Lover ♥
Nov 11, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: arc, mm, romance
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
Sean Kennedy
Mar 02, 2015 rated it liked it
(3.5 / 5)

A breezy, captivating book with some poignant scenes, although some characters really needed a little more backstory or resolution.
Apr 13, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 3-star
The writing was fine and yet this felt longer than the page count and it took me longer to read than it should have. Mostly I’m left feeling ‘So what?’. What did any of it mean? What was the point of any of the episodes? What did any of these people teach him? Lincoln felt especially pointless. Sure, his mother encourages him in a certain direction and there’s an attempt to explain a lesson learned on the final two pages, but it fell flat. I just didn’t see it.
Rebekah Weatherspoon
Nov 18, 2011 rated it it was amazing
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
Elisa Rolle
Mar 10, 2013 rated it it was amazing
2012 Rainbow Awards Honorable Mention (5* from at least 1 judge)
Nov 02, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2011
Loved it.
Terri Jones
Warning, romance readers: this is more a literary novel than a romance. The end is at best a happy for now, though we don't see it. Nothing close to a happily ever after.

That said, I did enjoy it for what it actually was. Though, having finished it, I feel less satisfied than a good romance (or any good novel) leaves me. It feels incomplete, thus the three stars: average. Not exceptional.
Oct 26, 2011 rated it liked it
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 rated it liked it
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
Jun 10, 2013 rated it really liked it
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
Jan 14, 2012 rated it it was ok
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
Feb 16, 2012 rated it liked it
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.
Jan 28, 2012 rated it did not like it
Shelves: duds
This was really dismal. No sign of a plot, threadbare characters, pointless dialogue - I could go on but why bother?
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Jeffrey Ricker is the author of Detours (2011) and the YA fantasy The Unwanted (2014). His stories and essays have appeared in Foglifter, Phoebe, Little Fiction, The Citron Review, The Saturday Evening Post, and others. A 2014 Lambda Literary Fellow and recipient of a 2015 Vermont Studio Center residency, he has an MFA in creative writing from the University of British Columbia and teaches creativ ...more

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