Book Review: Bullets Wrapped in Romance
Local poet reviews Maryland novelist's new book.
"Everyone finds their own Eden..." —Damon Norko
The concept of revolution emanates from the novel "The Delilah Factor" like a lone light post on an empty street at midnight.
My initial reaction to the grim and vulgar setting of Damon Norko's novel was disgust sprinkled with taboo curiosity.
Norko constructs a disturbing world of men who, because of a scarcity of women, only find pleasure in lust without romance. The setting is dark and satirical with a thick film of pornographic imagery.
Yet the atmosphere is penetrated by the familiar tale of tragic romance. Norko’s hero—Forrest Baxter—fights for his dearest maiden against a backdrop of conspiracy, revolution, brotherhood and self-perseverance.
Baxter, a shipping clerk without a cause, exemplifies the human side of heroes: blood and lust. What makes him a hero is his ability to resist, his instinct to riot against a flood of immorality, the reaching toward love.
Norko’s tale begins with the unexpected meeting of Baxter and Delilha, a woman who remains a mystery throughout the novel’s 394 pages. Baxter launches his courtship with flowers he gets from a friend, Mr. Matsui, a wise Japanese neighbor who keeps the only garden in the city.
From the gruesome “Daily Prize Fights”—where man after man is beaten to a pulp in a bloody ring—to the seemingly ordinary life of a homeless man outside of Baxter’s seemingly ordinary office, "The Delilah Factor" breaks through the surface of mystery.
Norko has produced a bullet wrapped in romance and conspiracy while spinning the yarn of a heart-warming underdog.
To order a copy of “The Delilah Factor,” please consult this website.