At the start of the Post-911 Age in America, a Visitor stumbles across the site of an ancient Native American village during a nature hike in the Oakland Hills. The man returns to the site and attempts to daylight one of the holes there when he thinks he sees something metallic at the bottom. In his excitement the Visitor has an apparent stroke or heart attack, passes out, and wakes up in a meadow where a Narrator tells the history of California from the beginning of Time up to 1915 on the first day of the Pan American Exposition in San Francisco. The narration features the adventures of three families of Native Americans who intermarry with Whites over the course of time as they observe the great and small events that have shaped California. The narrative style as related by the very opinionated Narrator is similar to Tom Robbins and Kurt Vonnegut.
The Mule Sonata is a lively history of Alta California from the perspective of three families from the Beginning of Time as told by a mysterious Narrator to a man known only as The Visitor, an Everyman sadly in need of an history lesson. The Narrator tells his history with whimsy and humor, beginning with a family feud that unwinds over the course of millenia through insurrections, wars, plague, shipwreck, gold fever, massacres, murder, and the construction of the Trans-American railroad to resolve itself during the infamous San Francisco Earthquake and Fire in passionate romance. Throughout this fanciful tale a preposterous family of mules continues to breed and beget generation after generation. The narrative is sometimes silly, sometimes deadly serious as the members of each generation battle the elements, the European and American conquerors, and each other as the history of Alta California plays out on a stage of epic sweep and grandeur.
An exuberant collection of short stories written in a variety of styles for children and adults who act like children, this collection of short-short stories toys with our latest obsessions about stars, marriage, myths, the CIA, the mafia, success, murder, sex, the L.A. movie industry, big trucks, angels, weird paranoias, romance, bread, flowers, the blues, singing birds, male bonding and violence, genetics, Irish History and the intricacies of transporting Japanese show-fish.
Most of the stories are set in Northern California in the San Francisco Bay Area.
Denby Montana has trundled about the American West, performing odd jobs here and there and acquiring academic degrees much as an hamster collects nuts. He speaks several languages - none of them well according to repute, but among the languages he badly understands, he counts German, French, Spanish, Latin, Mandarin, Russian, Irish Gaelic, Costanoan, and Brooklynese. He went to school variously at the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, VA, San Francisco State University, Westfaelische Wilhelms Universitat zur Muenster in Germany, and the National University of Ireland in Dublin.
He has been variously a cowboy, a rustler, a bar keep, a repo man, an athlete, an actor, a roustabout, an artist, a musician, a mountain climber, a bicycle messenger in San Francisco, a waiter, and a ne'er do well. He currently resides on an island set in the San Francisco Bay, which also home to a gaggle of malcontents, dissidents, ex-Hells Angels and gypsies.