Original title: Bucky F*cking Dent
Edition Language: English
Genres: Sports, Drama
Format: Audio book
Read by: David Duchovny
Ted Fullilove, aka Mr. Peanut, is not like other Ivy League grads. He shares an apartment with Goldberg, his beloved battery-operated fish, sleeps on a bed littered with yellow legal pads penned with what he hopes will be the next great American novel
Such a strange book! This is one of those cases when I have problems to start describing it. Here you find a lot of funny, but you also find a lot of sadness. Not tear bursting sadness, but the one that drags you down in life and death speculation. There is a lot of description of America with all its diversity and a lot of baseball as one of the main characters of the book.
At the beginning, it is difficult to get through the book: little-known America of 70s, a great number of known, but mostly unknown names, music bands and also baseball referenced to which a great part of every page is dedicated. Personally for me, it is uncharted waters: innings, basemen, infield fly…I do not have a clue what those are. But later on the relationships between the main character and his father come to the fore; and, needless to say, these are quite peculiar.
Ted is an Ivy League graduate, but does not look like one. He works as a peanut seller at Yankee Stadium and is known under his nickname Mr Peanut. He is on bad terms with his father, but on good ones with marijuana. From time to time Ted thinks about the meaning of life and writes a novel. The great American novel. But he is too lazy to finish it and regularly finds pretexts for his failures. He would bloat even more in his dirty, dark flat, if one day he was not informed about his father’s terminal illness. Ted begins to change in order to bring some relief to his dying father and alter the reality around him, though he does not realize it; but we as readers are the witnesses of this transformation.
If most of baseball terminology and swearing are brushed away, we are left with a touching and striking story about a father and a son; a story of their reconciliation. For me, however, it was difficult to perceive the book as a whole, as great amount of jokes, metaphors and allusions did not hit the target. So I can say that I appreciated only half of the book with the father-son theme and felt aloof about the baseball, sportsmen and music themes.
Almost all the time I was wondering about the title of the book as well. I wanted to understand it so badly, that when it was finally explained I felt pure satisfaction. As for the drawbacks I find the finale a bit weak. I do not want to post any spoilers here, but I felt bad for Ted’s mother, namely for her memory. Why the death of one beloved parent went by and left no traces, and the death of another gains such importance and acknowledgement? I found this a little stretched out.