A brilliantly inventive comic love-story, set in and around New York at the beginning of the 21st century.
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% 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, at once eccentric and deeply familiar – and in whose story we continue to feel invested long after we’ve turned the last page.
Reviews of Maynard and Jennica
- ‘A novel that gives voices to a great many unlikely narrators, primarily the eponymous central characters, but also to their parents, deceased grandparents, some cicadas, frogs and even the emergency brake in the subway car in which our hero is trapped.’ Francesca Segal, Observer
- ‘Rudolph Delson joins a constellation of bright young things whose most prominent star is Jonathan Safran Foer. It is an effortless read.’ Financial Times
- ‘Reading this book is like stepping into a Manhattan party full of wisecracking neurotics – except it’s a great deal funnier. Rudolph Delson’s novel fizzes with energy and invention. Delson has an acute ear for dialogue, and the scenes move effortlessly between the different voices, almost like a film. A refreshing and quirky first novel.’ Daily Mail
- ‘A refreshingly original novel that fizzes with energy and verve.’ Daily Express ‘Books of the Year
- ‘Nothing this funny, erudite and moving has come along in ages. Delson is a true talent, generous with his characters and lovingly describing the world they inhabit. Here is a novel with invention and energy on every page.’ Andrew Sean Greer, author of ‘The Confessions of Max Tivoli’
- ‘I kept laughing out loud as I read it.’ Moshin Hamed, in the Observer ‘Books of the Year’
- ‘Maynard & Jennica is courageously hilarious and intimately human. Rudolph Delson is one of the most exciting new writers I have come across in a long time, and this book is the reason we should all read first novels.’ Mohsin Hamid, author of the Booker shortlisted ‘The Reluctant Fundamentalist’
- ‘A deliberately kooky, intelligent romcom fusing the styles of Woody Allen and Zadie Smith. Love, of course, kookily conquers all.’ Metro, 4 stars