Sunday, September 20, 2015
Roy writes about his relationship with his mother, mostly, but also with his father. In the process, he covers parts of his writing career, but not in great depth.
His mother was orphaned and was raised by relatives who really didn't want her, one of which was quite abusive. As a result, she was self-doubting and needy, always questioning her children's love for her. This left Roy, as an adult, trying to understand his mother, trying to understand the difficulties she had to deal with as a child. Perhaps getting a handle on her suffering would explain some of the capricious and pathetic things she did and said when he was growing up.
Blount was a sports writer before he became known as a humorist and it shows up clearly in the book. Not being a sports fan myself, reading page after page about sports people was not enjoyable. There is also a chapter where he goes on and on about juniors, sons who are named after their fathers. Heaps and heaps of juniors until I was quite tired of the junior stories.
I also felt it took him a long time to get anywhere with his story. He meanders and wanders and dallies here and goes back there and does anything but get to the point. And, after all, there really is no point. His mother had problems. Whose doesn't?
For another review, see https://www.nytimes.com/books/98/07/12/reviews/980712.12humphrt.html.