American fiction is a frontier ruled by outlaws, from the deluded gangster Jay Gatsby, and girlfriend murdering Clyde Griffiths, to the sociopathic Tom Ripley, and chaotically priapic Harry Angstrom...George Willetts, the desolate protagonist of John Neufeld's latest novel, APRIL FOOL, follows in this tradition...Neufeld's novel has a fine feel for life's seasonal comings and goings in towns like Sharon, Salisbury and Lakeville, their customs and social strata, the quaint villages, mountain vistas, quiet meadows and lonely roads. It makes an apt American Eden in which to play out George's temptation and fall." -- Connecticut Muse, Autumn, 2008
Writer Neufeld's forebodingly comedic narrative, regarding a man having difficulty trying to cope with the recognition that more years of his life are behind him than there are to come, does have moments of drollness laced with more than a little gallows humor....Neufeld's writing is dynamic, hard hitting and presented without a lot of explanation or literary embellishments....Settings are nicely developed, draw the reader into the narrative, characters move through the storyline in expected fashion albeit with the ability to hold reader interest tight without being overdone. APRIL FOOL is a well written work devised to draw the reader into the action with fully developed character studies. The arc (author's review copy) I received for review ...has a list of seventeen stimulating discussion starters included at the back of the book which makes the book very accessible for book club use.
George is married to Peg and bored. Their marriage has evolved to being platonic for several years with no hope of re-kindling the spark, especially since George keeps thinking he is dying of a heart attack. During an out-of-town business trip George meets Valerie and enjoys a few hours in her company being semi-intimate to the limit in a public place. Valerie seems to create a new fantasy world for George and he uses the Internet world of email to keep the … more