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Quaking Aspen

The cover of Dizzying Heights, “the Aspen novel” by Denver attorney/author Bruce Ducker, shows a lovely chocolate cake — an apt illustration, because this book is a completely delicious, acidic-yet-sweet romp through Aspen and all the affectations that plague not just that high-priced town, but modern society. An Aspen reviewer said she had problems with the book’s credulity — perhaps because the naive hero, unemployed computer programmer Waddy Brush, doesn’t know anything about Aspen before he lands there. But it’s impossible to concoct a satire of that high-priced town that’s more unbelievable than the town itself. “In Aspen, the Rolls pulls up and the Jaguar pulls out,” Ducker says. “Reality cannot keep up with itself.” And Ducker, who used to have a house on the west end of Aspen and can remember its funky days, knows what he’s talking about: “I went up there to write, but the scene wasn’t for me.”

Now he writes at his place on the Roaring Fork and goes to Aspen for the music — and fresh material. Ducker has written numerous novels; the last was much darker than this bright book, whose back cover shows the cake completely devoured — as most readers will do with Dizzying Heights in one sitting. One friend told him that for such a funny book, it had a sad message. But Ducker points out that while the backdrop is sad, this book’s moral is not. “I think its message is that we should enjoy ourselves,” he says. And you will, when you hear Ducker read from Dizzying Heights at 7:30 p.m. tonight at the LoDo Tattered Cover, 1628 16th Street. For more information, go to or call 303-436-1070.
Fri., May 30, 2008


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