Friday, July 9, 2010

Shit My Dad Says

Shit My Dad Says is, hopefully, a hint of things to come – an excellently conceived, written, and edited memoir based on a Twitter feed. All that being said, it is one of the most soul stirring, balls-out funny books I’ve ever read. I laughed. I laughed so hard I cried. I cried on the subway from laughing. I laughed and cried during rush hour in New York City and I wanted very badly to read the book aloud to my neighbors on the crowded train. Luckily, everyone was giving me a very wide berth.

Justin Halpern skillfully takes the hilarious, often lewd sentiments that come out of his Dad’s mouth and uses them as a funny foundation on which he recalls pivotal moments in his childhood, teen years, and young adulthood. It’s clear that Halpern himself finds his Dad hilarious, but he takes his amusement and crafts a truly poignant read. He manages to relate a fully fleshed out Sam Halpern – a kid who grew up poor, a Vietnam veteran, a scientist and doctor, and a passionately loving husband and father. In addition, Halpern is fully willing to relate stories of his own follies and stupidity, showing over and over how his Dad set him straight or saved him in his own, unique fashion.

Shit My Dad Says is Halpern’s story of growing up, but it’s also the story of his growing love and appreciation for his father. He manages to make his profanity-laced twitter feed and the obvious admiration has for the father that originates those hilarious bon mots into a book full of love, laughs, and (dare I say it?) life lessons.

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