Let Me Explain
"In loco parentis. No matter what anyone else tells you, take it from me, that’s Latin for 'Your parents have to be nuts to send you to a New England boarding school.' Mine are; they did; here I sit." So begins the narrative of Harry Taft, a junior at a worn-out, Massachusetts prep school. After a series of misadventures at school, Harry hops on a bus for Monterey, California, hoping for a fresh start. Instead, the hits keep coming as Harry once again finds himself stumbling through the bizarre and comic events that make up his life. Raw, hilarious, tender, and, at times, all of the above simultaneously, Let Me Explain is a wild addition to the long list of American coming of age novels.
If Jack Kerouac went on the road with Holden Caufield, this is the book he would’ve written. Heartbreaking and funny at the same time, [it] perfectly captures the boarding school culture and the innocence that is lost there. Dyer hits a bullseye. [This] is a sad, beautiful book about a boy who realizes much too early in life that he is all alone in this world, and the journey he takes to prove himself wrong.
- Peter Farrelly (Author: The Comedy Writer, Outside Providence; Director: There’s Something About Mary, Dumb & Dumber)
Part One: Dancing with Patience
Harry Taft is in his third year at Sudsbury, a second-tier New England prep school known for its antiquated rules, less than bright student body, and oddball faculty. Dancing With Patience chronicles a short period during which Harry, in a brief and ill-fated brush with young love, becomes a little less of a boy and a little more of a man as he begins to suspect that he is not, after all, the center of the universe.
Part Two: Managing Exile
Harry racks up a series of odd experiences and a handful of puzzling relationships all of which are far, far away from the New England prep school bubble he recently abandoned. When he’s not slinging a mop at a greasy spoon known simply as Phil’s, he’s searching for his life on the foggy beaches and streets of Monterey, fearful of becoming a permanent outsider, a loner, a young man destined for little more than growing old by himself.
“It was a VERY good novel. I really enjoyed it from start to finish. It really did capture the character very well, and although he has many flaws, you really do tend to like Harry, or at least I did.”