Print Reviews
Dizzying Heights

Dizzying Heights

by Bruce Ducker

Fulcrum Publishing

“Dizzying Heights Cover”

Waddy Brush is a bright, ambitious programmer who is destined for layoff. His patriarchal employer ditches him at the first sign of a buy out, and he flees humid Seattle for the uber wealthy mountain enclave of Aspen. There he hooks up with huckster Dooberry and his bi-sexual Brazilian wife, Falvia. They hatch a scheme to collect your private fantasies, merge them with your credit report and a virtual reality of sex and targeted sales. Financing is easy; the town is full of old money and new pigeons, and the entertainment drips from the mix of cranky locals, ambitious newcomers, and Waddy’s naivety and desire for sex. It’s a bit rough, but entertaining enough for a week at the beach or a long connection through Hartsfield.

Author Ducker pursues the Carl Hiaasen method of creating quirky characters and outlandish situations, then dicing them into short segments and mixing them up so that tracking individuals becomes a challenge. Ducker also uses some unconventional typesetting for reporting conversation, so more than once you are half-a-page into a conversation before you figure out who’s talking to whom.

The story line is well constructed, and it sounds like Ducker knows the Aspen lifestyle and social register. The fundamental problem with Dizzying Heights is the use of software development as a plot point. While tech writers such as Douglas Coupland excel at incorporating code writing into fiction, Ducker has a laughably naive view of the topic – he even makes poor Waddy go though two 200-page files of ones and zeros looking for differences by hand. Most middle school students could write a program to do that during recess.

For all that, Dizzying Heights is a fun read, and can easily fill the time between airline connections or Mai Tais at the beach. Too bad the author drops into the second person at the end and promises a sequel. I hope he takes a community college class in C++ first; he needs to get those details at least halfway right.

Fulcrum Books: http://www.fulcrumbooks.com


Recently on Ink 19...

Greg Hoy

Greg Hoy

Interviews

Fascinated by the arcane world of musical gear, Randy Radic spoke with dyed-in-the-wool gearhead Greg Hoy about his setup on new EP Holy Mother of God, how he produces his unique sound, and a gear-gone-wrong moment.

Joe Jackson

Joe Jackson

Event Reviews

Joe Jackson brought his Two Rounds of Racket tour to the Lincoln Theatre in Washington D.C. on Monday. Bob Pomeroy was in the area and caught the show.

Matías Meyer

Matías Meyer

Interviews

With only a week to go before powerful new feature Louis Riel or Heaven Touches The Earth premieres in the Main Slate at UNAM International Film Festival, Lily and Generoso sat down for an in-depth conversation with the film’s director, Matías Meyer.

Mostly True

Mostly True

Print Reviews

Carl F. Gauze reviews the fascinating Mostly True: The West’s Most Popular Hobo Graffiti Magazine, a chronicle of forgotten outsider subculture.

The Tin Star

The Tin Star

Screen Reviews

Anthony Mann’s gorgeous monochrome western, The Tin Star, may have been shot in black and white, but its themes are never that easily defined.