Book Reviews

Dad Is Fat, by Jim Gaffigan: Book Review

jim gaffiganDad Is Fat

Author: Jim Gaffigan

Publisher: Crown

Price: $25.00

There should be a warning label on Jim Gaffigan’s new book, Dad is Fat:  “Use caution while reading this book. It may cause you to want more kids.” For those of you who don’t know Jim Gaffigan, he is a popular stand-up comedian and has a great routine on Hot Pockets. Ever want to laugh about eating a Hot Pocket? Then look him up on YouTube. My wife and I have been fans of his for a while and we try to catch his stand-up routines whenever he is on Comedy Central.

Now, I’m not reviewing his book as a book reviewer, because that would be an insult to book reviewers. I don’t have those types of big words in my repertoire. “Repertoire” is about as big as it gets for me. (Also, I like to use that word because I think I sound French when I say it, but that’s beside the point.) I’m a dad and I review books that are interesting to parents. So that being said, I’ll get into my beef with the book and why it should have a label on the cover.

The biggest reason to have the warning label is that Gaffigan has had many babies. Living with 5 kids in a two-bedroom NYC apartment should drive most people insane, but Gaffigan is too happy in his unhappiness. He talks about troubling issues with his kids, and although I can relate to many of the circumstances he describes, he makes them sound uproariously funny. Gaffigan discusses in the book how much he loves sleep. So how can he be so funny with so little of it?

Reading the book makes you think, well, at least I can laugh about the madness that kids bring and if I have more kids, I’ll never stop laughing.  My wife also read the book, and all the talking about babies gave her ideas. She doesn’t need any more ideas. We have 3 kids already and twins run in the family. I don’t think I could function as well as Gaffigan does.

Amidst the humor, Gaffigan manages to instill a few serious gems.  In response to being accused of being anti-family because of his sarcastic comments, he wrote, “If you complain about how you spend your Saturdays taking your kids to birthday parties, that means you’re taking your kids to birthday parties. If you complain about how hard it is to get your kids to read, it means you are trying to get your kids to read… 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.” I liked that and will use it over and over again when people complain that I’m complaining too much.

I enjoyed reading his book and you will too, unless you don’t have kids.  In that case, you will probably think he is complaining too much.  At least you’ll have Hot Pockets to laugh about.

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