Click here to read the first pages of Glendon Swarthout’s period romance, Loveland, set during the Great Depression among the summer dance bands and resorts in Charlevoix the Beautiful, the pine-scented Michigan playground of Midwest millionaires.
This perceptive novel of the 30's is a hilarious confrontation between youth and the Depression. "It's a hell of a time to be seventeen, but it's the only one I've got," states Perry Dunnigan, the eager, engaging hero who sports an aspirin spirit while the rest of the nation moans with a monumental financial headache.
Son of the cashier of a small town bank in Michigan, Perry is first jolted over the threshold of maturity the "Day They Closed the Banks" when he proudly marches off with his dad to hold off angry depositors. Then, dauntless as a five-leaf clover, he sets off with his accordion to find summer employment as a musician and to locate love in Charlevoix the Beautiful, the pine-scented Michigan playground of Midwest millionaires.
How Perry discovers both -- and more -- makes Loveland one of the breeziest, most entertaining new books in recent years. With the unerring ability that made Where The Boys Are such an overwhelming success, Glendon Swarthout has peopled Loveland with an endearing cast of characters. There's Perry's love, the beauteous Mary Vallant, a rebellious ex-debutante of nineteen with plans of her own on how to regain the money. College hero Speedy McGimsey, a free-wheeling, saddle-shoed troubadour with a voice like Russ Columbo. Multi-millionaire Logan Cooke, last of the playboys, whose mysterious death pushes Bonnie and Clyde right off the front pages. And Kissable Miller, sweetheart of Michigan State, whose marriage turns Charlevoix's elegant and decorous Bal Masque into a memorable rout.
Loveland is the cat's pajamas -- with all the fun-filled nostalgia of a rumble seat ride to the swinging strains of "Sweet Georgia Brown." Loosely based upon Glendon's adventures as a singer and accordion player in his own small college band from the University of Michigan during the 30's in some of the big hotels and vacation spots in Michigan, Loveland is the romance novel of his youth.
This novel, too, was once optioned for a possible Broadway musical by Arizona shopping mall tycoon, Sam Grossman, and some years later by another New York producer, Eric Angelson, for either a film or musical play. Film rights have reverted to the estate.
"Outstanding . . . a compelling evocation of a loss of innocence in the 30's -- a gripping tale." Cleveland Plain Dealer
"This is one you must buy. It's funny, funny, funny!" Columbus Enquirer
"The novel is, for the most part, enjoyably flippant. But it ranges effortlessly through a number of contrary emotions which one ordinarily doesn't expect to find gathered in the same book. In some ways the story is also a tribute to a young boy and his father (who appears sporadically) who refuse to be intimidated by the somber aspects of the early Thirties. There is a crazy variety at work here and it is held together by warmth and gusto." Peter Corodimas, Best Sellers.
"Swarthout has written a genuinely comic novel, full of amusing scenes and clever twists of plot. He has also caught the spirit of the period. For example, in those days the young communicated by means of real snappy repartee, and he has written the story in that style. The author of Where the Boys Are has produced a really swinging entertainment. Or as they used to say in the old days, it takes you like Grant took Richmond." Associated Press Newsfeatures
"The book is filled with funny incidents, long-forgotten slang, titles of popular songs that bring back memories, and a plot that keeps us reading to the last page. The dialogues are excellent, though, and the plot so farcical that Loveland seems destined to end up as a movie. It misses greatness, but it's great fun." Ann Hirshberg, St. Petersburg, Florida Times.