From a serial killer in Philadelphia to the shit of Vietnam, Tom Faustman’s first two books in his self-published Misadventures of Dylan series were on the darker side.
With the recent release of the third book in the series, and the first chronologically, “Dylan’s Chase” moves to a more nostalgic place of time: the basketball court of Drexel Hill Elementary School.
What Faustman deemed a “hotbed” of activity in the 1960’s at Shadeland Avenue and State Road when he was growing up, it encouraged him to write a story about the budding competitive nature of basketball and the stories of the people who played there.
“It was a really magical time in my life and the lives playing at this basketball court and the friendships that developed out of it,” Faustman said, who currently resides in Connecticut. “It was such a fun period of our lives and I wanted to tell the story of the fun part of it, but young men are more sensitive to the difficult lives of the people around them. It’s kind of the real world.”
At the center of the story is the titular Dylan – based on Faustman – and his friend Truck trying for a local basketball championship. Another friend, Nut, is being groomed to Olympic aspirations in wrestling. Dylan balances the competitive nature of the basketball court while trying to resolve the personal problems of his friends, who are composites of Faustman's friends.
But like in Faustman’s previous books in the Dylan series, humor is sprinkled throughout.
“It’s funny, but serious, as Dylan works to solve the problems. It’s comical and with local color,” he said. “The touching parts in terms of people having to rely on faith… they ultimately, when things get down, say I have no other hope. I better do the best I can to trust in friendship and hope."
Readers with Delco roots are sure to pick up on references of local Drexel Hill eateries, mention of The Bulletin newspaper, Jerry Blavat on the radio, among other notable mentions.
“It really brings back their childhood, really nostalgic for them. It captures that feeling that people had back when things were a little safer. The times are a little scary today. It’s a nostalgic book and I use a lot of the terms of the area, the music. People will feel good.”