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Fool's Errand

3.8  ·  Rating details ·  122 Ratings  ·  18 Reviews
In searching for the man of his dreams, Patrick Beaton crosses paths with other searchers, in an inventive debut novel that is reminiscent of Armistead Maupin's Tales of the City.
Paperback, 352 pages
Published June 1st 1999 by Alyson Books
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(showing 1-30)
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Feb 28, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I first read this when it was originally published and maybe it just hit me at the right time, but man this is one of my favorite books, bar none. Or maybe I have an affinity for it because of a stint living in Washington DC for a while. Some may think it is long and moves slowly but I find that's part of its charm. There are 80 page stories that have two guys meeting, having sex, declaring their love and undying devotion to each other, and picking out apartments over the course of three days. T ...more
Jun 05, 2007 rated it really liked it
A neurotic gay romance. Patrick Beaton's just seen the man of his dreams, except Patrick's got no idea who he is or how to find him. Enter Seth, the weird ex-boyfriend of Patrick's ex-boyfriend's new boyfriend (got that?). Seth's got a plan for finding Patrick's dream man. A crazy plan.

Patrick's a little useless and a lot unsure. He's got no idea who he is or what he wants, and at times this book can almost be a little hard to take because of that, but for the most part it's just Patrick bumblin
Dec 07, 2015 rated it really liked it
Oh I totally enjoyed this book! What a fun read, literally laugh out loud funny. The author is so witty, I absolutely love the way he writes. Terrific characters and such a clever plot. Highly recommend!
Aug 14, 2007 rated it it was ok
The order in which we read books, what came just before, matters. So does how we're feeling, where and how we're living, our age and experience of course, but if I keep referring to other titles and authors, it's not to name-drop (obviously; I'm not quoting Foucault after all) but to add meaning, even if only for myself. The bad/vital human habit of seeing patterns everywhere, although I think I manage to distinguish between those intended or real, and those just meaningful to myself.

I had start
Nathan Burgoine
Jun 01, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: glbt
Patrick Beaton is a rare sort of gay male protagonist - he's not incredibly passionate, he's not perfect, he's romantic, but he's also got his head so far up in the clouds that he's a little bit of a sap and a pushover.

So, when Patrick decides that someone he saw barely (and maybe even in a dream) is Mr. Perfect, he starts to hunt him down. Between his hunting down Mr. Perfect in all the wrong places, he has to deal with a slew of complications:

1. His ex - who has hooked up with a Mr. Wonderfu
Jul 24, 2008 rated it really liked it
This book is lovely and endearing and poignant. As the protagonist searches for His True Love, of whom he caught a glimpse when helped by him at a party, his family and friends assist him along the way. Bayard's work is different in the very best of ways, but it makes his works difficult to describe. Recommended.
Jul 25, 2012 rated it really liked it
Great story set here in DC - out along the frontier near the Armory. But you gotta really like reading about gay guys obsessing about one another to enjoy it. And of course the usual straight women who like gay guys. A fun read though.
Feb 21, 2010 rated it it was amazing
One of my favorite books ever. If I were somebody in Hollywood, I'd make a movie of this one.
May 19, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
I read this book several years ago- I'm not sure it's even in print anymore. Louis Bayard is a great writer and at the start of his career he wrote gay romance/humor novels along the lines of Stephen McCauley. I'm not sure if he had limited success, or his interests changed but Bayard ultimately switched to historical fiction based on actual events (like Mr. Timothy).

Anyway, this book is great. If you find it on Amazon or in a used book store, you won't be disappointed. The two MCs are charming
Jun 08, 2007 rated it it was ok
I found this long and, for the most part, really boring. Patrick and his yuppie angst did not engage me, and all of Seth’s quirks, which I believe were supposed to be endearing, irritated the crap out of me. I believe it is possible to tell a small, personal story that, even if it has no cosmic significance, is still meaningful and important in its own way. But everything about this book felt small and trivial, and it wasn’t even redeemed by being funny. Instead it was nearly 400 pages of well-i ...more
Jan 10, 2016 rated it really liked it
I liked it a lot, although I'm not going to re-read a few times like some other books. I'd say that it is slightly less than 4 stars, but I'm going to round the rating up because I really laughed a lot and it is quite original and well written.
Tim Farmer
Jul 26, 2016 rated it really liked it
This is a sweet, funny, absurd tale of a gay man's search for the man of his dreams. The description of interpersonal dynamics of the small gay community that exists even in a big, cosmopolitan city are stereotyped accurately!
Jan 01, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fiction
This is another gem I found on the street. Light but very engaging. The plot had a lot of twists and turns and was unpredictable, which was very enjoyable and rare for me as an avid reader. I found I missed his voice when I finished it.
May 02, 2016 rated it liked it
A good solid comic novel, close to 4 stars. He could have used an editor to help him cut this by about 100 pages, but it is a fun read (especially if you remember the DC of the 90's)
Nov 17, 2009 rated it it was amazing
One of my favorite books of all time.
Jan 11, 2011 rated it liked it
A fun tale
Jordan Lombard
Dec 07, 2015 rated it really liked it
Took forever for me to get into this one. It's not a three star, but not exactly a four for me either. And I don't normally do half stars.

Fast read though.
Jan 25, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: entertaining, romance
Witty and utterly charming modern romance.
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Jan 02, 2014
rated it it was ok
Sep 17, 2007
Tragic Sandwich
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Mar 16, 2013
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Jun 13, 2009
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Apr 02, 2016
Erin Coale
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Jan 24, 2009
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Mar 05, 2013
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Jan 24, 2009
Shweta Sridhar
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Jan 02, 2014
Michelle Gibbs
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Nov 20, 2015
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Feb 27, 2008
Ken Allread
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Apr 30, 2011
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A staff writer for, Bayard has written articles and reviews for the New York Times, the Washington Post,, and Preservation, among others. Bayard lives in Washington, D.C.
More about Louis Bayard...

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