Like Rashomon on Red Bull no, make that steroids ex-lawyer Rudolph Delson's debut novel, Maynard &andamp; Jennica, scrutinizes a New York City love affair from nearly three dozen points of view, including those of dead relatives, a macaw and a subway emergency brake. Presumably the kitchen sink had no particular insight.

Maynard Gogarty is a self-described failed celibate who hasn't had much greater success either as a composer or cinema vŽritŽ filmmaker. He's married (for visa purposes only) to a Russian-Israeli bunco artist who attempts to cash in on the 9/11 attacks by declaring herself dead. Jennica Green is a transplanted California dynamo who has compulsively broken down her '90s relationships into a mathematical table that reveals she was lonely 68.53 percent of the decade. If that isn't a recipe for kismet, what is? Maynard and Jennica first lay eyes upon one another on the downtown No. 6 train (one of the backdrops for Maynard's film commentary on contemporary fashion, Unseemly), but it's at the post-screening Q&andamp;A of said film that their spark ignites. The gift of a Maine Coon cat launches their romance, and also their first argument. If we call him Mumpus instead of Marcel, asks Jennica, can we call you Arnie instead of Maynard? A horrified Maynard rejoins, Gah! If we call me Arnie, can I take off your bra? And in that moment, just as when Woody Allen declined Paul Simon's invitation to a party in Annie Hall, we know the relationship's timer has been set, and it's all countdown from here. But the excursion (and discursions) on the way to the inevitable crash are highly entertaining, as these two, complex and vivid characters attempt to negotiate the rocky shoals of love while half the Western world looks on . . . and comments.

The book has already been optioned by Scott Rudin (The Truman Show, The Queen) for film, so if your attention span is sufficiently short as to be distracted by the dizzying narrative structure, don't be surprised if Maynard &andamp; Jennica shows up at your local cineplex before you have all its cast sorted out. Thane Tierney found his true love in an equally unlikely manner on the telephone.

comments powered by Disqus