Friday, August 9, 2013

Dad is Fat - A Review

Dad is Fat
Author: Jim Gaffigan
Publisher: Crown Archetype
Release Date: May 2013

    Two months ago today I lost a man that was near and dear to my heart. My father-in-law. At the time of his sudden passing I was halfway through another book that I was very much enjoying but on that day everything changed, and I put that book down. Shortly after all of the ceremonies and family had dispersed some turned toward Religion for comfort, I turned to those who make me smile, comedians.

    Jim Gaffigan has been near the very top of the current comedian pile for a long time now(and one of my personal favorites for close to a decade) and I trusted that "Dad is Fat" would give me exactly what I was looking for during my time of need. Thankfully, Mr. Gaffigan delivered.

    "Dad is Fat" boils down to a series of very short essays(typically no more than 5 pages) on Mr.Gaffigan's take on raising his five children in a crowded New York City apartment. He tackles subjects ranging from what it's like attempting to get five kids ready to go to the park, to the importance of candy to a child to toddler-hood (my personal favorite chapter and well worth the price of the book alone). With each chapter and essay the book builds momentum and the laughs seem to occur at a much more rapid pace. Whether this was done intentionally or whether it was simply a writer/comedian getting more comfortable working in a different medium I cannot say for sure, however I can say with certainty that this book will make you laugh out loud on a regular basis.

    One of things that impressed me most about "Dad is Fat" is that it is not just a rehashing of Mr. Gaffigan's stand-up material. It would have been easy for him to simply use his stage material as a transcript for this book. While fans of his will surely recognize some of the premises and jokes they are few and far between. Ultimately what you get is a book that delivers consistently from beginning to end.The style, tone and pacing are reminiscent of a Bill Cosby book, and there is not a greater compliment that I can give to a comedian in this genre.

    As someone who lost a father figure, who has a father who is very active in his life and as someone who hopes to be a father in the not too distant future this book hit home when I needed it most. It allowed me to reminisce and reflect in an incredibly safe environment and for that I am forever grateful. Thank you Mr. Gaffigan.

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