December 11, 2013

Rob Delaney: No Filler (Reading the Book by the Comic)



I only know of Rob Delaney because of Twitter.  He is one of the funniest people I have come across.  He is able to pack a lot into those 140 characters. He’s a little raunchy on there, so don’t let your kids follow him.
On that site, he has been promoting his book.  Heavily.  I figured, since I like what he does with the short form, I’d read what he has to do with the long form.

He does pretty well, but I have to warn you.  The book is funny.  But that’s not all it is.  It is deep and thoughtful and poignant.  Delaney writes with the best of the comic memoirists of the past couple of years: Oswalt, Silverman, Brand, and Fey.  What makes these people tick, to generalize is often more interesting than the short things that you see that make you laugh.  Their lives have created the angle in which they see the world and explain it to their audience.

This book is more than funny because Delaney opens up his life to the reader.  He is honest about his faults: the bed wetting; the substance abuse; the hooking up with and falling in love with random Dutch women. And through this, he is able to bring light to his humor.

It is, broadly, a narrative about addiction and recovery, but it isn’t heavy-handed or cloying.  Delany’s smart, and funny, and you should read his book.  You might just see some of yourself in it.  Or you might not.  Either way, you will laugh.

Some notes.  It is relatively short, so if you’re like me and you start reading and you can’t put it down, you won’t stay up all night.  Finally, the subtitle is misleading.  I found no references Delaney being a Cabbage, and unfortunately there is no index to verify my misgivings.