A lot is
happening in 1968: a presidential candidate will be cut down in his prime,
riots will explode in Chicago, and a world away in the jungles of Vietnam
soldiers will die. All of that takes a
back seat in Devin Donohue’s mind to the upcoming wedding of his brother, to
Devin’s girlfriend Jardin. Recently
graduated from Harvard, moping around home over the loss of his girlfriend, he
is at loose ends. Verl, his best friend,
lives out in Colorado. Devin’s first
love Leila lives out there too, running a summer theater with her husband
Mattie. Verl suggests Devin come out
west, enjoy the mountain air, help with Leila’s theater and cheer himself
up. His family eagerly concurs, thinking
it would be a good idea to get Devin out of the way prior to the big
wedding. Summer in Colorado offers Devin
the opportunity to grow up, to look around and take stock (of himself and his
place in the greater world). Malone
writes with a true comic flair. The
story is often laugh out loud funny. When Devin arrives in California he finds
Leila listening to an obscenity spewing fanatic calling down destruction on
corporate America while a Shriners convention runs amok in the streets all
around them. Nothing is as Devin
expected, he finds himself caught up in the crisis of those around him, charmed
by Leila’s two children (the daughter is spooky smart), and finding out quite a
bit about himself in the process.
Filled with poignancy, humor and eccentric revelations, The Delectable Mountains is a hilarious romp through the melodramatic tumult of growing up and falling in love.
Life seems to have little to offer Devin Donahue at the age of 23. Graduation thrust him out of college against his will, and the love of his life just left him to marry his older brother. With a broken heart and no direction to speak of, Devin pounces on his first opportunity to skip town--an invitation to help run a summer theater in Colorado with his high-school sweetheart.Upon arrival, Devin is shoved into a torrential melodrama of barroom brawls, outrageous love triangles and the worst performance of Hedda Gabler ever produced. He is sucked into the action by myriad batty characters, including a maniacal political dramatist, an emaciated director riddled with d.t.'s and a bipolar actor whose luck--and money--are about to run out. All the while Devin must fumble through his own awkward attempts at love--and somehow manage to come out on the other side.
About the Author
Michael Malone is the author of nine novels, one collection of short stories and two works of nonfiction. Educated at Carolina and at Harvard, he has taught at Yale, the University of Pennsylvania and Swarthmore. Among his prizes are the Edgar, the O. Henry, the Writers Guild Award and the Emmy. He lives in Hillsborough, North Carolina, with his wife, Maureen Quilligan, chair of the English department at Duke University.