A dying woman, the love of his life, awaits Max, the narrator-hero, in his hotel room while he finds his way back, caught like a sleepwalker in a succession of daunting adventures, contending with, in part, vampires, spies, serial killers, femmes fatales, alien worlds, giant apes and mad scientists, all the time awaiting the return of his absent memory.
D-Tours is probably not on your itinerary; it is the evasive side-step you take that gets you everywhere. It is the private tour of America you take each night that you never quite shake yourself awake from to remember. Jonathan Baumbach's wild ride of a novel is a satire and celebration of movie narratives, running them one after another, one into another like fairy tales or cultural jetsam or primal dreams.
In another sense, D-Tours is a kind of 1001 Nights at the Drive-in. And you are there with the narrator-hero, like Scheherazade telling your story in every imaginable variation, because your very survival depends on reinventing the world.
"Jonathan Baumbach views the world with the ruthless eye of a movie camera. D-tours contemplates the best and funniest 50-or-so movies I wish I'd seen." —Hilma Wollitzer, author of Silver
"Baumbach tells story after story as if he were sentenced to death and had to talk his way out of it. Baumbach may not be Scheherazade, but he'll live!" —Rosalyn Drexler
When I was forced to leave Hollywood, I was determined that it would be a temporary detour at worst. Still, it would take me fifteen years and a handful of other abortive careers before I returned to filmmaking, one misadventure inspiring another.
Semi-fatal love was my perpetual unmooring. When I fell, when I lost my heart, I seemed to fall headlong and forever. I fell hard, and when I got back on my feet, I was never quite the same person again.
Am I getting ahead of myself here, rushing off with unseemly haste to the final fade to black? Maybe it wasn't love at all, but chance, blind circumstance, fate, that kept me away for the longest time from what I wanted most to do.
Maybe what I did was take the wrong flight or get seated next to the wrong woman on the wrong flight. Exiled from Hollywood, I had gone into the public relations business in San Francisco (a psychotherapy student at Stanford in my spare time), and I was returning from an assignment in Paris, which had led me also to Brussels, Milan and Beirut, causing the postponement of my return for almost a month. Everything factored in to this chance meeting. And even if I knew in advance what was going to happen, I would have accepted my ultimately unhappy fate with open arms.