Synopses & Reviews
An uproarious and deeply moving tour de force of a debut that is both a portrait of our times and a wildly original New York love story.
Maynard is a defeated musician, a reformed misanthrope who makes a hobby of surreptitiously filming the fashion faux pas of New York City subway commuters. On an uptown Number Six Train, in the summer of 2000, he meets Jennica, a nostalgic Californian and Princeton graduate who calculates that she's been lonesome 68.53 percent of her adult life. It is hardly love at first sight. But when they meet again at Maynard's film screening, their romance does indeed blossom. And as with most things in life, everyone has an opinion. In the case of Maynard and Jennica, everyone includes: many living and some dead relatives, a blond-bombshell Russian-Israeli scam artist, a hip-hop impresario, a shabby lawyer, a long-lost friend, and a writer for the New Yorker.
Exuberantly illuminating much that is true and often horrifying about our times, page-turning and wryly funny, Maynard and Jennica remains at heart a love story. Delson has given us a pair of lovers who are human, flawed, complex, and at once eccentric and deeply familiar and in whose story we continue to feel invested long after we've turned the last page.
"A heady, slippery dramedy-lite of modern love and urban manners, ex-lawyer Delson's debut puts native New Yorker Maynard Gogarty, a not quite talented composer/filmmaker, in the path of hardworking Californian Jennica Green, who arrives in New York to be 'illustrious.' Shifting back and forth over the period 2000 2002, this cleverly pieced together story draws on 35 first-person narrators including friends, family, a macaw, dead ancestors and an emergency brake on the train to chronicle Maynard and Jennica's shifting roles as potential spouses, schemers, arrestees and exes. Their relationship comes to a head, natch, in the aftermath of 9/11, as the lovers' families meet for the first time. It's gimmicky, but the surprising ways each narrator connects with Maynard and Jennica make for small delights, and the interplay among the voices works often enough. Maynard's blistering riffs on how grief is coopted postcatastrophe end up giving insight into his character, and Delson's prose shimmers when describing the magic and romance of falling in love in New York. (Sept.) Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"[T]he varying narratives are effectively cohesive. Delson's clever debut is sharp and energetic, a highly original contemporary love story set against New York's invigorating urban landscape." Booklist
"[B]oldly inventive....At times, the originality is distracting, as if Delson were trying too hard....But, overall, like a contemporary spin-off of Vonnegut, this work has something fresh that needs to be embraced and will resonate with a wide audience. Recommended." Library Journal
"This charmer centers on two neurotic New Yorkers (is there any other kind?) who meet on the subway....Rudolph Delson's funny, confessional-style novel recalls When Harry Met Sally... No wonder Scott Rudin already acquired the film rights. (Grade: B+)" Entertainment Weekly
"Nothing this funny, erudite, and moving has come along in ages." Andrew Sean Greer, author of The Confessions of Max Tivoli
"A charming comic novel but also an exuberant one-man show...warm-hearted...contemporary and timeless." Adam Langer, author of Crossing California and The Washington Story
Exuberantly illuminating much that is true and often horrifying about modern life, Delson's uproarious and deeply moving novel remains at heart a love story.
A wildly original debut,Maynard and Jennica is both a hilarious urban comedy and a captivating love story. In the summer of 2000, while riding the uptown number 6 train, the musician/filmmaker Maynard Gogarty first encounters the beautiful Jennica Green.Though their initial meeting is brief, when fate next brings them together a romance ensues, and as with most things in life, everyone has an opinion.
Delson tells the story of this improbable love affair through the voices of Maynard and Jennica, along with their family, friends, and assorted characters (among them two attorneys, three journalists, and a rap star) pulled into their dizzying orbit.He brings to life a pair of lovers who are flawed, complex, at once eccentric and deeply familiarand in whose story we continue to feel invested long after weve turned the last page.
In the words of Mohsin Hamid, author of The Reluctant Fundamentalist, this book is the reason we should all read first novels.”
About the Author
Rudy Delson, a "recovering lawyer," quit his job on the eve of his 30th birthday to write this, his first novel. He was raised in San Jose, graduated from Stanford, and currently lives in Brooklyn, NY.