George Willetts is bored. He retired as a political campaign strategist and is trying to enjoy a daily routine with his wife, Peg, but retirement in a Connecticut suburb holds no excitement. Serving on a few boards and doing volunteer work hardly qualifies. Not to mention the fact that he and his wife really have no marriage, as such. It is more of an arrangement, in which he is sure that she loves the cat much more than she loves him.

Then there is the question of George’s obsession, introduced through clear and concise narrative, “George Willetts was a fairly successful, and successfully ordinary, fellow. He missed being ‘dashing’ only by the narrowest of margins.

“But he was also morbid.”

The slightest tingle in his arm will send George down a dark a scary thought process. He is convinced that he will succumb to a heart attack, and that obsession leads to many ER visits where he is proclaimed healthy. Yet, he doesn’t feel healthy. He has all this anxiety and these pains. What is a man to do?

When George receives a call from the firm he used to work for with the offer of another job, he thinks that will be the answer. He can focus on work. Have a purpose again. Then another possibility presents itself when he meets Valerie. Exciting, beautiful, talented, Valerie. They meet by chance in a New York bar and George finds out she is an author who lives in California. They have a few drinks, a few laughs and the evening ends with a kiss.

Suddenly George has a new purpose in life. Valerie.

What ensues is a sometimes funny, sometimes poignant tale of a man who is led down the wrong path by his obsession. George and Valerie share a passionate exchange via the Internet, and then George decides that he wants to spend the rest of his possibly short life with Valerie. But what about Peg? How easy would it be to hire someone to….?

George is not always a likable character. Certainly not when he contemplates the unthinkable, but he is an interesting character. Despite the fact that he is so self-absorbed, the reader is drawn to him and to this sometimes crazy story.

John Neufeld is the author of more than twenty novels for adults and young readers. His Young Adult Novel, Lisa Light And Dark, was voted one of the NY Times Ten Best Books of the Year. His work has received ALA Notable Awards,
been cited by Time Magazine, been nominated for an Edgar, and been included in The Sunday New York Times’ Best Books of the Year (twice).

April Fool by John Neufeld
ISBN: 978-0-9800377-3-9
Publisher: Grey Swan Press
Date of publish: July 2008
Pages: 348
S.R.P.: $15.95
Maryann Miller — Maryann’s Web site

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