Thursday, September 23, 2010

Book Review: Sh*t My Dad Says by Justin Halpern

Sh*t My Dad Says - Justin Halpern

Comedy writer, Justin Halpern, was 28-years-old when his girlfriend of three years broke up with him, forcing him to move back home to live with his parents.
While most young people would be frustrated to be living once more in constant contact with their parents after an extended period of independence, Justin took this as an opportunity to start recording all of his father’s outrageously funny comments and ponderings on life.
What originally started out as a Twitter page called ‘Shit My Dad Says’, soon became the catalyst for this book, as well as the source of many newspaper articles and television interviews. Halpern’s Twitter page also attracted a fan-base of over one million people, demonstrating just how popular Halpern’s witticisms are.
This book- Halpern’s tribute to his 73-year-old father, showcasing the profound, witty and hilarious things that Halpern Senior has said over the years- is filled with touching and amusing anecdotes and quotes straight from the mouth of Mr Sam Halpern, and covers some of the monumental moments in Justin’s life. From coaching Justin’s Little League baseball team, and trying to ensure he had the best science competition project, to confronting burglars with a shotgun while naked, Justin doesn’t hold back in showing the world just how unique his father is.
While some of these scenarios may sound slightly condescending, Justin is clearly a man who cares deeply for his father, and tells these stories with the utmost respect and loyalty (and a lot of humour!).

What I gained from reading this book:
Most people, at some point in their life, have looked at their dad with embarrassment. Maybe he said something totally inappropriate in front of your friends, or did something that you would only ever see on a really bad-taste television program.
The great thing about this book is that no matter how embarrassed you felt then, there’s a strong chance that Justin Halpern’s dad has said or done something equally embarrassing- only his social faux pas has been documented by his son so that the whole world can read it! Not only does this book help to ease some of the awkwardness you once felt about your father (because he could obviously be a lot worse), but it is also a sweet -albeit humorous- tribute that one man has written to his father.

Even though most of the scenarios that feature in this book could be considered really embarrassing- to both Halpern and his father- it is clear that Halpern has a strong admiration and respect for the man whose funny quotes he is retelling.
I was also impressed with the set-out of the book- there is a developed story at the start of each chapter, and then several quotes at the end of the chapter that only accentuate just how witty (or wacky, depending on what you think) Halpern Senior is. Hilarious stuff.

If you don’t appreciate swearing or any type of coarse language, you should probably steer clear of this book- Halpern Senior has a way with words that would, in all likelihood, make a sailor blush. He doesn’t discriminate in who he uses this language to, either, choosing to say the f-bomb numerous times in front of his kids when they’re only young. But although Halpern swears a lot, this doesn’t diminish the humour of the book, so if you don’t have a problem with cursing, you shouldn’t have a problem reading this.

Rating: 8 out of 10

Genre: Non-Fiction Humour

Recommended for: People who want to read an extremely funny tribute that one guy wrote for his father to celebrate their relationship. This would actually make a great Father’s Day present.

Australians can buy the book by clicking the picture below:

Shit My Dad Says

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