Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Audiobook Review: "Dad Is Fat" by Jim Gaffigan

Dad is Fat Jim Gaffigan
Published: May 7, 2013
Playing Time: 5 hours, 26 minutes
Genre: Humor / Memoir / Parenting
Source: Audible Subscription
Highly Recommended

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’s Fatherhood, 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.

My Thoughts:
Confession: Before I listened to this, I didn't know who Jim Gaffigan was.  I mean, I kind of, sort of recognized him from things, but that was it.  Yet, I knew a number of people who had read this book and enjoyed it and the humorous memoir is a genre that works well for me in audio form.  And, of course, it is about parenting...which is, well, relevant for me.

In short, this was a perfect choice for me.  It is, of course, generally funny--but since I could relate to him more than I could to Amy Poehler and the like, this one hit home in a different way.  While it is fun to listen about people appearing on Saturday Night Live, that is the closest I will ever be to appearing on SNL.  Parenting, however, is the trench in which I live.

And, Gaffigan gets it right.  If someone who does not have children and isn't really familiar with children wants to know what parenting is like, they should read or listen to this book.  Obviously, my experience is a bit different from Gaffigan's--he's a dad and I'm a mom, he has 5 kids in a 2 bedroom apartment (shudder!) and I have 2 kids in a 5 bedroom house, he lives in the city and I live in the 'burbs, and such...but he still conveys the truth about parenting and kids.  However, he really manages to address parenting in a more universal way than just "as a dad."  In other words, moms will appreciate this, too!

Gaffigan does a pretty good job narrating this.  It definitely feels like he's talking to you instead of reading a book, which is a huge thing.  There are a some moments here and there where it seems like he doesn't manage his breath just right and he finishes he sentences a bit weakly.  But, really, that is a minor sin I can handle.

Another thing about this audiobook--I wouldn't say it is safe for work as he does talk about things like circumcision, bowel movements, and--in one case--his son's artwork.  But, I would also say that this is a pretty clean book.  There are a few uses of "lower order" profanity, but this book is definitely more in the PG range of audiobooks.

I am trying to get my husband to listen to this--I think he would love it, but he's having trouble believing that the title is not some kind of commentary on his physique.  So, as long as you don't think anyone is calling you fat, I would recommend this book--audio or otherwise.

I was not solicited for this review and I received no compensation for this post.

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