Arts

Twitter king Rob Delaney delivers the laughs in candid autobiography

“Mother. Wife. Sister. Human. Warrior. Falcon. Yardstick. Turban. Cabbage.” Rob Delany’s Twitter bio is a seemingly random collection of words. It’s also the name of his first book. If you don’t follow him, you are truly missing out.

Delaney’s humour is raw, and unrefined, and certainly not for everyone. He has no boundaries—an important and refreshing quality when you’re in need of a laugh. As you scroll through his Twitter feed, you might find yourself clutching your pearls, but still laughing. Perhaps most comparable to Louis C.K. or the outspoken uncle at Thanksgiving who tells it to you like it is, Delaney makes you wish you had the cojones to do the same.

Most comedians are afraid of having their jokes stolen, but Delaney was already in a lot of debt, and figured he had nothing left to lose on Twitter. His direct one-liners caught the eye of a public that was only just figuring out how to make their Twitter accounts worth anyone’s time.

The candid book follows Delaney’s troubled days of alcoholism in his early teens, and then depression, and how he overcame it all and started a family. Most of the stories have an underlying melancholic feel, twisted with situational dark humour. It’s cringe-worthy to read the first chapter of the book where he recalls yelling at his mother for making him a special birthday cake with the faces of Danzig band members for his 13th birthday and refusing it. You probably realize how you can be ungrateful too sometimes.

Other parts are more frightening, as he recalls hitting rock bottom in the hospital one night after drunk driving. A few pages later, you’re laughing out loud about his adventures bungee-cording off the Manhattan Bridge in New York. Breaking his life into five chapters, this book will make you realize that when life gets tough, it helps a bit to laugh through the tears.

One highlight of Delaney’s book is the featured tweets he’s included between chapters. If you’ve followed him for a while you will remember the classics: “Just saw a guy on rollerblades. He was surprisingly sweat-free for having presumably ‘bladed’ here from 1991.” If not, it’s a quick and easy introduction to what Delaney is all about.

This book is a delightful quick read. It’s great to take with you travelling, since his stories are so short you never have to remember where you’ve left off. Delaney focuses on the importance of family and what it means to him. It makes you appreciate your own family, your loved ones, and those we feel closest to. Now, go call your mother.