Like its narrator Patrick, this novel shields its warm heart behind wisecracking ascerbic sarcasm. With bittersweet hilarity, it looks at how different people cope with roads taken (or not taken) in life and love.
Completely by accident, Patrick's stumbled into what anyone else would probably call a perfect relationship and life. But despite feeling genuine affection for his kind, decent, and profoundly boring boyfriend Arthur, Patrick can't shake a guilty feeling of total panic at the placid path he's finding himself more and more deeply sinking into.
Patrick's actually a pretty lazy guy who more readily invests energy in sardonic quips than in actually shaking things up in his life. Besides, even when he's feeling suffocated, he realizes he's undeservedly lucky to have what he does. So maybe nothing would've changed, even when Arthur calmly decides they should buy a house together and doggedly begins marching them towards that goal.
But then Tony, Patrick's dumpy, drearily conventional kid brother, falls desperately in love. And not with the sad-puppy fiancee that their overbearing parents had picked out for him, but with a sophisticated beauty who lights a fire beneath him to clean up his slovenly ways and broaden his previously unimaginative mind. As Tony frantically demands his older brother's advice, Patrick sees his own life flashing before his eyes, mirrored in the life choice his brother's shakily facing down. He can't fend it all off with wiseass humor forever...