What do you get when you send a twenty-something year old man back home to live with his dad who doesn't give a damn about what people think? That's right, Sh*t My Dad Says. The book came into existence when people began to realise how funny the Twitter page was and everyone wanted to know more. So Justin Halpern wrote the book about his dad.
It's one of the few biographies I own, and probably the only one I've finished. In my defence, I'm more of a fiction person and when I got half way through the only other biography I started I picked up another book instead. However, in this case, I couldn't put the thing down! I sat in my kitchen the night I bought it and I just read it all. Very few books can keep me that interested to just sit in my kitchen and ignore everyone walking past me. Normally someone distracts from the reading, but not with this book!
So, what's it all about..?
Okay, so Halpern lost his apartment, his girlfriend and he'd started a new job that let him work from anywhere. He tells that part much better. He goes back home because his parents are the closest living people he knows at the point in which he is homeless. He moves in, starts work, and has to get used to his dad's one-liners all over again. He eventually moves out, pursues writing in LA and then we get this book, some time later. That's the jist of it. Of course, the book is also full of the fun little details of his growing up, mainly the ones where his dad could be seen as embarrassing or hilarious. Thankfully, he only comes off as hilarious. So many people have read this book and thought, "I wish that was my dad." I don't, but I'd damn-well like to know the man!
Is it worth the read?
It's worth the read, the time and the $8.97 Amazon are charging for the edition I've linked to above. You'll laugh, a lot. Unless you think his dad is just an asshole, in which case you have to try sympathise with the other people, which is a lot harder to do when the book is about this guy saying ridiculously funny things in his day-to-day life, making small but meaningful differences to people's lives and mainly being the focus of attention. Even though Justin tells the tale, it's his dad who takes the spotlight.
Is it really all that funny?
I laughed. A lot. I mean, I laughed so much my family got annoyed. Of course, if you want a sample, go to twitter.com/shitmydadsays and you'll see that his dad is hilarious. And the book is actually even funnier than that! As well as being oddly moving.
Who would like this book?
Anyone who doesn't mind a small bit of foul humour. Seriously. It's funny, it's not too big, and you'll love the relationship between Justin and his dad. I know I did, and I know I'm not alone in that, so it's an almost 100% guaranteed truth. The book is split into anecdotal chapters, each divided by yet more quotes that didn't find their way into the stories in the book. You can read it all in one go or take it chapter by chapter. People feel better for reading this book. It's absolute genius in its simplicity.
Additional house-keeping note: I bought and read a book last weekend even though I wasn't supposed to, so there will be one more review, next week. After that, unless I have time to review the novels on my course, there will be no further reviews until June 2011. I will be posting a Summer Reading List and will be looking for suggestions. You may leave them here.