Fatfingers, the name of the unlucky protagonist whose professionally wielded hammer struck his hand more than it did a nail, is the story of Etienne Gaspard and his travels in America. Ousted by the British, Garpard makes his way from French Arcadia to New Orleans. Fatfingers contains a slew of characters, and the plot moves very quickly; at times it is difficult to keep track of everything that is happening. The novel paints a good picture of late 18th-century America, with accurate depictions of the interactions Native among Americans, French, and British. The British antagonist Cudgel, an evil and cruel man, continues to appear as a well-named leitmotif throughout the novel at unfortunate times for Gaspard.
Fatfingers has some drawbacks. Profanity, not in itself problematic, is here used to excess. The continual swearing distracts the reader from the plot, especially when it is not necessary. The roughness of the character can equally be conveyed in other ways. There are also many passages that are long on dialogue, but short on either scene or context. While a few of these help to convey the rapid pace of events, the number of them in this novel becomes frustrating. This also contributes to the confusion of both what is happening, as well as who is doing it.