Rob Delaney: Twitter Darling Goes Long Form
You probably know Rob Delaney as one of funniest people on Twitter. If you don’t, you either (a) don’t have a twitter account or (b) you do, but you never use it. Stand-up comedian Delaney decided to go beyond the tweet limits of the 140 characters for his upcoming memoir with an obnoxiously long subtitle, Mother. Wife. Sister. Human. Warrior. Falcon. Yardstick. Turban. Cabbage. The book should really be titled, “Rob Delaney: How I’m Not Dead and Other Stories.” His journey is truly remarkable, and in this memoir he tells the story of one near-death experience after another, each involving a toxic combination of alcohol and horrifically bad decision making.
Delaney starts us off with his Irish Catholic upbringing in Marblehead, Massachusetts. He speaks highly of his childhood and of the relationships he had with his family members. He was a smart kid with an unquenchable thirst for knowledge, adventure, and, of all things, alcohol. He first got drunk at the age of twelve and describes the feeling as “magical.” In the summer before his sophomore year of high school, he drank a bottle of tequila then proceeded to climb a telephone pole in an attempt to walk on the wire with his hands, the key word here being “attempt.” There was also that summer in college when his boat capsized in the ocean, and that time at NYU when he bungee-jumped off the Manhattan Bridge. The book is filled with stories just like this, the worst of them describing the night he blacked out and drove a car into a building.
The most enjoyable part of the book is the recounting of his recovery. Delaney details his rehabilitation, his stint in jail, and his time in a halfway house, as well as the depression he dealt with on his road to a life of normalcy and sobriety. Of course, Delaney jokes his way through the book but there’s plenty of substance behind everything that he says, especially about his lowest moments. For someone who made his name writing jokes for a short digital medium, it’s amazing how well his writing and humor translate to a longer form and onto the printed page. He has important things to say about everything from studying in Europe in college to being a father to giving back to the rehabilitation centers that helped him get his life together. Rob Delaney is more than just a funny-person memoir – it’s a coming-of-age story that transcends comedy.