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Maynard and Jennica

3.33  ·  Rating Details ·  679 Ratings  ·  176 Reviews
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 l ...more
Hardcover, 296 pages
Published September 18th 2007 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
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Nov 26, 2007 Alison rated it it was amazing
I'm glad I got past the promotional blurbs, which to me undersell this book. "Funny" and "moving" and "human"? Maynard would have something to say about that last one (what else could it be? Feline? Avian? Prawn?), and all three are suspect from a critical perspective (moving = "I felt something!" Do reviewers really have no idea how therapied this makes them sound?), not to mention practically equivalent in our debased critical vocabulary (ever since the Holocaust, I suppose, what with the supp ...more
Mar 25, 2009 Nancy rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2009
Ugh, so, you know how sometimes a friend of yours who you like pretty well but isn't one of your inner circle will be dating a guy who you really want to throat-punch? And you can't say anything to her because you're not that close, and you don't see them often enough to broach it with the people who are the intersection of you and her in the Venn Diagram that is life? Well, that guy is Maynard, and that girl is Jennica. And just as it happens so often in life, Maynard so drags the book to this ...more
Donna Jo Atwood
The story of how Maynard and Jennica got together in New York City is okay. The premise of the storytelling--that various bystanders would all crowd around and stick in their two cents--held the promise of being amusing. After all, how many stories have narrators that include a macaw and a subway train emergency brake. But before long the story became overwhelmed by the cuteness factor, all the characters seemed to speak in the same voice, and there were entirely too many chapters taking byways ...more
Apr 23, 2008 Alisa rated it liked it
Sometimes it seems like the whole point of reading a book is a single sentence. Maybe it wasn’t even meant that way by the writer, but it strikes something personal in the reader, some memory, some feeling, some wish. I guess that is what the Secret Life of Reading is all about. Here, it was one tiny passage about the darkness inside a house at the coming of dusk-- “It is a melancholy time: all you need do is switch on one lamp and the inside and the outside will separate, held apart by the refl ...more
May 24, 2010 Andy rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2010
Telling the story of the romance of a late 20s couple in New York. Billed as a comedy by the author. Didn't really like it.

The tale told from the viewpoint of all the characters quickly gets annoying and just feels gimmicky. Plus there are the annoying - punctuation quirks. Afforded to - the main characters. Like, whatever.

I don't know. Maybe it's because I'm not American, Jewish or a New Yorker but there's a distance between my sympathies and those of the characters. Maynard is pretty smug and
Oct 18, 2007 Aaron rated it it was amazing
This is the second book written by a briliant writer right around my age in a row that I adored. I need to start reading only novels penned by writers who are over forty. These young guys are making me jealous.

Maynard & Jennica is the story of the relationship that transpires between avante-garde filmmaker Maynard Gogarty and extremely Jewish Jennica Green. He sees her on the subway, gains a crush on her. She sees his film, gains a crush on him. A relationship begins. Eventually, the relatio
Nov 26, 2007 Courtney rated it really liked it
I picked up this book based on a rave review in the NY Times book review a couple Sundays ago -- it's a quirky and sweet story told from about 40 different characters' points of view, Maynard and Jennica being the threads holding the cast together. Each interview begins with a short description of the person (or thing) giving an account of the part of the story in question (e.g., "James Cleveland, age twelve, describes what Maynard looked like under the air-conditioning vent on the uptown No. 6 ...more
Mar 30, 2012 Farwa rated it really liked it
Shelves: buy
They are the most flawless, yet so horribly flawed couple ever.

This book was so witty and smart and frustrating because of the use of randomly placed “-“s (though I’m sure Delson had a reason for putting them where he did, I just don’t understand that reason). The input of many other people (alive and dead), some animals, and inanimate objects was fun to read.

Oh, it says on the book jacket that someone may be buying the film rights to this book! I would see it in a heartbeat if it does actually
Nov 05, 2009 Keri rated it did not like it
It really takes a lot for me to put down a book before reaching the end. My friend has a rule that if she gets 50 pages into a book and still doesn't like it, she'll stop reading it. I gave it an extra push; I got to page 59. By then the main characters were uninteresting and the style of the book (interview style) was grating on my nerves. And the consistent use of the words "like" and "whatever" certainly didn't help either. Too many good reads out there to waste my time on this.
Mar 10, 2008 Jennifer rated it did not like it
There is "quirky" for a reason and then "quirky" for quirky's sake. This book is the latter.
Nov 13, 2007 Bridget rated it it was ok
This started out fun and wacky, and then got tiresome quickly. Over the course of the book, it is told through the perspective of several characters - like, 30 of them or something.
Mar 25, 2008 Jessica rated it did not like it
pretentious boring
Kim Silarski
Aug 10, 2011 Kim Silarski added it
Shelves: fiction
got bored with this, didn't finish it.
Josephine  the Rereader
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Oct 01, 2007 Marilyn rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: anyone with a heart and a wry sense of humor
Rudolph Delson’s story of two New Yorkers falling in love is narrated by a large cast, including, briefly, cicadas and an emergency brake on the No. 6 uptown train. Overlapping, competing, explaining, the voices have distinctive verbal tics. Maynard’s mother, Joan Tate, often falls back on “Well. I am his mother.” Ana Kaganova, a Russian-German-Israeli scam artist, uses “weiß’ du?” as a catch-all absolution for her tricks. Hilarious hip-hop artist Puppy Jones calls himself “our hero”; at a low p ...more
Jun 26, 2008 erin rated it liked it
Recommends it for: probably people like me
(from my blog, b/c I am lazy)
I don't remember how I heard about Maynard & Jennica, by Rudolph Delson. Doesn't really matter - it ended up on my list so I requested it from the library. It's billed as a love story, with a lot of minor characters. In this it is perhaps like Beginner's Greek. But this is missing a lot of the sweet. You're not rooting against these lovers, but I'm not convinced that you like them very much.

I'm having trouble knowing what to say about the book, and perhaps that's
Aug 12, 2012 Sophy26 rated it it was ok
I had really high hopes for this book, but it completely let me down. I admit that I didn't finish it. I read dutifully through page 29, then flipped through it and read the end, to see if it might have gotten more interesting or had some fantastic culminating scene that sewed it all together. But it didn't. The story is told as a series of journal entries or interviews from way too many characters to keep straight. They are each assigned some distinctive narrative tics that, whether they were i ...more
Feb 17, 2017 Katie rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I just cannot get into this book. I fell asleep twice while reading. It's slow, boring, and blathering.
Aug 12, 2009 Annie rated it really liked it
It was an interesting format - it was like a series of confessionals like in reality tv - and though i don't like reality tv, the format worked in written form. Of course, while having numerous points of view and interweaving storylines is nice, there's always the chance that one of the storylines is less interesting, and I did find myself dutifully slogging along through a couple of them, just wanting to skip ahead - but I didn't. I liked the writing/dialogue - very clever - and really, that's ...more
May 06, 2012 Stephanie rated it liked it
Eerily similar in many ways to a genuine NYC courtship I'm intimately familiar with. Boy meets girl in 2000. Boy nearly doesn't meet girl a second time. Boy and girl meet again at an art house movie theater, fall in love and quickly decide to move in together. 9/11 thwarts their plans, but not in ways you'd think, or ways that are overly dramatic or heart wrenching. Girl goes, without boy, to a friend's wedding in northern California the week after the attacks and this is where, contrary to the ...more
Meredith Enos
Jul 21, 2009 Meredith Enos rated it liked it
Shelves: b-reading
very new york. you know how sometimes you read a book and, despite the fact that it's set in, like, regency england or something, you feel like you could have written the book? well, this is a book i could definitely not written. it's like a beautiful little time capsule that if you didn't experience, you can only read about.

that being said, the plot is OK. the style is very quick. it's humorous. the characters are just that--characters. you don't really get invested in them, and actually nothin
Oct 08, 2015 Kim rated it did not like it
Shelves: adult-fiction
I kept reading, because I thought eventually something would happen. Nothing ever happened. In reading other reviews, I saw that people think this may be a book only "real New Yorkers" understand. Not being a New Yorker, I can't assess that. I can say that I don't get it. There are dozens of narrators creating a non-linear narrative. And while it's a little charming that some of the characters speak in fragments and with a distinctly Californian cadence, by the end of the book, it was incredibly ...more
Leslie Ann
Oct 18, 2007 Leslie Ann rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Fidgety Northern Californians who live in Brooklyn and miss California.

Got this galley in March and read the first chapter. Wasn't so sure about it; the voice of Jennica...mildly annoying. Finally though, I gave it another shot seven months later.

Once I got used to everybody's tangental rantings and ramblings, I became just a little bit fond of this book. It became my neurotic, gregarious, emotionally retarded old friend--a little flawed but quite clever and amusing in it's wistfulness.

Anyhow, Northern/Central Cali's will appreciate terms such as "Nut Treed Out",
Kristen Northrup
Mar 20, 2008 Kristen Northrup rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction, fromlibrary
A romantic comedy about neurotic Manhattanites that is also a first novel can very easily go horribly wrong. This did not. It definitely took some getting into, however. The title characters never become entirely likeable people, but I definitely have friends who sometimes act like them. Not to mention that I have friends who would definitely say that I sometimes act like them. The supporting cast is very charismatic, fortunately. And I love books with multiple narrators.

Definitely picked it up
Katherine Furman
Aug 07, 2007 Katherine Furman rated it really liked it
Maynard and Jennica was a surprisingly realistic love story told in the form of an oral history. Odd. But great. Every scene is a little story told by a wide range of characters from crickets outside of a house to Jennica or Maynard themselves. The beauty of this book is the stylized manor that each character speaks in. You feel like you're hearing an intelligent, but often inelegant recount of a story by someone you actually know. The humor is familiar, like your friend is cracking a joke. The ...more
Derek Baldwin
Jul 28, 2011 Derek Baldwin rated it liked it
The copy I loaned had no blurb on the sleeve so I had no idea really what the novel was about... but I liked that it had nice short chapters: nothing pisses me off more than authors who don't understand the value of white space.

I found this entertaining and funny, but about one-third the way in I began to realise "oh, it's another 911 book". Which filled me with dread. Happily it was not after all a 911 book, in fact Maynard's thoughts on THAT whole subject were refreshingly honest (and similar
Cook Memorial Public Library
Nov 21, 2012 Cook Memorial Public Library rated it really liked it
This was a witty, charming, yet literary, story of a young couple developing a romance in New York City. It was funny and compelling. It was told via first person narration of all the characters involved, so each section was as if the narrator was recounting or reporting on "what happened." Basically, at its simplest it is the story of the two lovers, but it is so originally and quirkily told, that you feel entertained at a "meatier" level. People who have enjoyed Nicole Krauss and Jonathan Safr ...more
Nov 08, 2009 Laura rated it liked it
If you like the kind of movie where someone behind the camera interviews people to get an outside perspective on the situation, or on the people in the story, you'll like this book. In learning about the titular Maynard and Jennica we hear from 35 different characters, from family members to the building super to casual observers who may or may not stick to the point of the story, which adds to the offbeat charm of the novel. Debut novelist Delson has crafted two very distinctive characters, has ...more
Amy Keyishian
Aug 09, 2008 Amy Keyishian rated it liked it
This novel is about two abundantly clever and odd people finding their clever and odd way toward each other. They're very young, and Maynard, in particular, is so quirky that you instantly recognize him as a type; whether this is good or bad depends on whether you like that type. I did, so I liked seeing himself wander in and out of trouble.

I didn't like a subplot about a rap artist whose artistic life bisects with Maynard's. I felt one way about this guy, and in the end I felt a bit betrayed be
Jun 02, 2015 Michelle rated it it was ok
Shelves: did-not-finish
Eh, oh boy. I didn't finish it. I'm less than 200 pages in and just can't do it.
There are some perfectly written lines in this story. It's really very different. I wanted to stick with it. I kept thinking something great was going to come out of it. Maybe it did. Here's the thing though, we all know there's a lot of narrators. That was fine, it was different. With this many narrators, I accepted that I wouldn't like some of them. I was ok with that. But when I got to The Fourth Part and realized
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“It was that time of dusk when there is a—deepening of the interior shadows. It is a melancholy time: all you need do is switch on one lamp and the inside and the outside will separate, held apart by the reflections in the glass, and evening will begin.” 11 likes
“She buys "mixed salad greens" for seven dollars a bag, triple-washed with who knows what. And to get this stuff home, which is only two blocks away from the grocery store, Jennica throws all of it into plastic bags. There is a husk on her corn, corn that Jennica's store sells in April.. there is a rind on her grapefruit, grapefruit that gets flown in from Florida... but still, Jennica puts the corn and the citrus into plastic bags. Her supposedly organic red peppers, which cost six dollars a pound, come in a foam tray under shrink-wrap, but she puts them in a plastic bag. And then the checkout girl puts all of Jennica's little plastic parcels into two or three more big white plastic bags, and then Jennica walks the two blocks home, where she unpacks all the bags and then trows them in the same trash bin where her corn husks and citrus rinds go.” 2 likes
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