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Sunday, September 12, 2010

Sh*t My Dad Says by Justin Halpern

For the first half of this book I found Justin Halpern's Sh*t My Dad Says to be a refreshing change of pace. Finally, a man who says what he thinks - no political scheming, no worrying about the consequences - this man just opens his mouth and says the first profanity-laced thing that pops into his head.

For example, from page 44: "I just want silence...Jesus, it doesn't mean I don't like you. It just means right now, I like silence more."

But, as the stories pile up and the sheer number of comments overwhelm the reader I started to feel there was a subtle, hidden subtext here - life with this man was and is difficult. Actually, it was not all that subtle in the chapter where Halpern's dad had to to be told that Halpern was "tweeting" his quotes to the whole world and had been making money off of the quotes and was going to publish a book about it. The level of concern expressed by his brothers when Halpern told them he had to break the news to their father was enough to make this veteran teacher concerned. If there was no real fear here, than Halpern needed to write this portion more clearly.

To be sure, he has his positive sides. In fact, at first the Dad is really refreshing in his candor but after a while it seems abusive. You don't have to tell everyone every thought you ever have about other people's habits, the dogs defecation routine,  food, Mrs. Dash and whatever other fool thing pops into your head.

Justin Halpern
A little candor - refreshing. Too much candor - well, no one wants to know all of their faults all of the time. Self-censorship, when well-placed, can be a blessing to everyone.
In a lot of ways, Halpern is no better than his dad - we are treated to 3 different tales of masturbation - one for the family dog,  two for him, including one where he describes how he fantasized about a girl he went on a trip with to Mexico. That must be a special memory for her now, huh? You did what while you thought about me?
I rate this book 3 stars out of 5.

This book can be found on Amazon.com here: Sh*t My Dad Says  

Reviewed on September 12, 2010.

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