Blanton (The Adventures of Delbert, 2013, etc.) offers a semiautobiographical account detailing the many complexities of life, basketball, and women.
Welcome to the life of Delbert. A resident of Kokomo, Indiana (“It’s a town of about 50 thousand”), he works on an assembly line making “the rear carrier for the 604 Front-Wheel-Drive Automatic Transmission.” Hardly a mentally stimulating occupation, the job gives Delbert time to think and helps him to meet his good friend Jerry Otto. Though there is a generous age gap between the two, their bond is one that will carry them through many adventures. And adventures, in a very Midwestern, basketball-loving, beer-swilling, and woman-chasing sense of the word, seem to be what the young Delbert has in mind. Whether it’s an ill-conceived date with an Amish woman or a bumpy road trip to Florida, he clues readers in on his thoughts and beliefs, no matter how abstract or randy. With reflections on Marx (“The only Marxist idea that sane, rational liberals believe in today is the progressive income tax”) and women’s bodies (“She is definitely a brick-house”), this is indeed the world according to Delbert. Sexually graphic in portions, this world is not for the prudish. Of course, the story is not all moments of sex. There are commentaries on the narcissistic nature of having children and the overwhelming reality of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway (“It is so big that the mind has to compartmentalize it in order to comprehend it”). What can one make of such a cocktail? With a page count well into the 800s, to call this sprawling book a tome is not an overstatement. Overdrawn in sections, ruminations can be obvious, such as a dictum about recalling portions of books: “If I remember much of the book into the future, then the writer must have done something right.” Though such length is not for the squeamish, readers eager for one man’s candid musings on disparate topics, including Bobby Knight, Thomas Jefferson, and the things drunks like (“Quick one-liners, jokes, nothing deep”), can expect quite a few.
Rambling in portions, this volume nevertheless presents a giant, honest portrayal of what it means to be alive.