Didier Rain has never been so destitute, forlorn, and in dire need of a bath. As he roams the rain-muddied streets of San Francisco, it appears the angels of good fortune have finally forsaken him. Hunted by factions that would seek to do him harm, and suffering an acute case of soul pain, the once dandy rogue sees little promise for sunnier days.
But then, miraculously, all the stars of the cosmos move into a seemingly favorable position as a seductive albino soothsayer launches Rain onto the next leg of his life’s stormy voyage. Will said voyage carry Rain to the soft bosom of comfort and contentment he so longs for? Is he the Chosen One, singled out by Providence to lead God’s people in their new South Seas church? And is Rain truly the newfangled man he believes himself to be? Or, as he fears, are the gods just having a bit of fun with their favorite gullible scalawag?
At turns ribald, horrifying, and hilarious, Fortuna and the Scapegrace follows Delivering Virtue as book two in Didier Rain’s unfolding epic adventure of foibles, hope, and quest for love and redemption.
This book is the second in the series named The Epic of Didier Rain. Read my review of the first book here. However, this book can still be read as a standalone novel, if you must. I would suggest read the first one in order to understand the references peppered through the book.
Fortuna and the Scapegrace continues the surreal aspect of the first book. It is often unexpectedly profound and ribald, sometimes in the same paragraph.
This book kicks off shortly after the events of the first book. He goes off on a journey that is full of surprises at every single step. It starts with an attractive soothsayer, and Didier does seem to have a weakness for the pretty ladies. A weakness for the ladies and a penchant for alcohol combine to ensure Didier wakes up the next day on a ship, with, ironically, nowhere to go. By a combination of skill set, luck, and other factors, he manages to bring himself some level of comfort on the ship, and proceeds to spend his time and energy as productively as he can.
I have to say, Didier sure does get along with goats. In both books, he does tend to invariably end up in the company of these ‘goaty girls’. I did like Angeline though – the goat in this book. She is smart and sassy and seems like a pretty chill goat to hang out with.
This is the first book (rather, the second – first being the previous book in the series) I’ve seen where the narrator’s verbosity does not detract from the writing, rather it serves to add another dimension of awesome to the proceedings. Didier is many things, but above all he has always been a poet at heart. That drives a lot of his soliloquy, and also does seem to drive some of his decisions. Whether those decisions are appropriate is an altogether different matter.
This book has a strong religious theme, not in terms of Didier’s belief, but the fact that he is always drawn into such things. It seems to be an overarching theme of the series. It is a topic fraught with dissent, and Kindall handles it beautifully.
Like the book before, the ending seemed just right. It felt right. Very few books I’ve read recently have panned out so satisfactorily, so I was pretty happy with that aspect too.
Once again 5 stars for sure, because I honestly do not find a single flaw in this book. It is educational, poignant, well written, humorous, scandalous, and makes you think. It would not be an exaggeration to say that Brian Kindall is a genius of sorts. I look forward to reading many more of his wonderful works in the future.
An illuminating little anecdote about this book :
Someone asked me what I was reading, and I told them about Fortuna and the Scapegrace. They asked me what genre it’s in, and I said, I can tell you a bit about it, but I can’t really attach a particular genre to it. I was asked how that’s possible, because I should at least be able to categorize a genre or put a label to it. I said, while that may be true for most books, believe me when I tell you I can’t for this one. And on reading the blurb and my review of the previous book, they were fascinated. So that’s the kind of book this is. Don’t try to label or categorize. Just read and enjoy.