Book 53 of my 2014 Reading Challenge
I received an electronic copy of this book via Blogging for Books
in exchange for an honest review.
Dad is Fat by Jim Gaffigan
Summary (via Goodreads)In Dad is Fat, stand-up comedian Jim Gaffigan, who’s best known for his legendary riffs on Hot Pockets, bacon, manatees, and McDonald's, expresses all the joys and horrors of life with five young children—everything from cousins ("celebrities for little kids") to toddlers’ communication skills (“they always sound like they have traveled by horseback for hours to deliver important news”), to the eating habits of four year olds (“there is no difference between a four year old eating a taco and throwing a taco on the floor”). Reminiscent of Bill Cosby’sFatherhood, Dad is Fat is sharply observed, explosively funny, and a cry for help from a man who has realized he and his wife are outnumbered in their own home.
I chose this book because I'm familiar enough with Jim Gaffigan to know that I think he's really funny, and I could hear his voice as I was reading. He writes conversationally, which made it an entertaining and quick read.
I'm not familiar enough with him to know if he's used any of these topics as 'bits' before, but I think they would translate very well to his stand up routine or to an audio version of this book. The chapters were short, readable, and had a good arc. I laughed out loud more than once.
There were a few times (deciding whether or not to circumcise his son is the one that comes to my mind at the moment) that I thought he was a little abrupt and quick to move off of a topic. It's like he started to reveal more about himself than he wanted, which is fine and a personal choice I respect, but then maybe the entire section could be removed instead of shutting down abruptly. But that's a small note and probably something I would've forgotten about by the time I finished the book if I hadn't been jotting notes for review as I went along.
Overall, I would recommend this read to fans of Jim's or parents looking for some sympathy in the trenches. I enjoyed this and would read something by him again.
A Few Quotes from the Book
"Anti-family? This could not be further from the truth. I love being a parent and enjoy finding the humor in parenting. If you complain about how you spend your Saturdays taking your kid to birthday parties, it means you are taking your kids to birthday parties...You joke about it. That's how you deal. If parents don't like being a parent, they don't talk about being a parent. They are absent...Failing and laughing at your own shortcomings are the hallmarks of a sane parent."
"As a dad, you are Vice President. You are part of the Executive Branch of the family, but you are the partner with the weaker authority...Jeannie [his wife] is Bill Clinton, and I am Al Gore. She "feels their pain", and I'm the dork reminding them to turn off the lights."
"If you had a roommate that did any of the things babies do, you'd ask them to move out. 'Do you remember what happened last night? Today you're all smiles, but last night you were hitting the bottle really hard. Then you started screaming, and you threw up on me. Then you passed out and wet yourself. I went into the other room to get you some dry clothes, I came back, and you were all over my wife's breasts!' "
"Toddlers also love to tell you secrets, especially when you are wearing a white shirt and they've been eating chocolate."
"A little kid spilling a drink at the dinner table is as reliable as the female lead falling down in a romantic comedy. It's inevitable."
"I don't think of [eating his children's Halloween candy] as stealing. Hey, it's my home and those kids don't pay rent. Most of the time I don't even want to eat their candy, but late at night I'm confronted with the predicament: eat my kids' candy or feel my feelings. Eating the candy always seems to win."
"I was the youngest of six children. The scrape of the pot. My parents tried their best, but they were exhausted. It was like the last half hour of a brunch buffet. It's still a great meal, but let's just say at that point, the guy working the omelet station has lost some of his enthusiasm."
"Whenever I travel with my young children, I'm always reminded of an important travel lesson: Never travel with my young children."