Fathermucker by Greg Olear
From the cover:
A day in the life of a dad on the brink: Josh Lansky—second-rate screenwriter, fledgling freelancer, and stay-at-home dad of two preschoolers—has held everything together while his wife is away on business . . . until this morning’s playdate, when he finds out through the mommy grapevine that she might be having an affair. What Josh needs is a break. He’s not going to get one.
If I had to sum up my review of Fathermucker by Greg Olear into one word, it would be “hilarious”. I didn’t think I would find another book so soon after reading Domestic Violets that would match its level of humor, wit, and sincerity and yet somehow Fathermucker snuck into my heart and made me laugh until I was gasping for air.
I wasn’t sure what I was expecting when I first accepted this book for review. I was drawn in by the comparisons to The Financial Lives of the Poets and Domestic Violets, both of which I absolutely love and adore. This book by far exceeded any of my expectations and I’m left speechless trying to come up with proper words to review this book. I have no idea why it is always so difficult for me to review a book I love. I want to gush about this book and pass it on to all my friends and buy extra copies of this book to hand out at Christmas and yet when it comes to telling you why I love it, I just can’t think of the right words to describe it.
On the surface, the book was a funny and humorous look at the life of a stay at home dad as he tries to survive managing the household without his wife, but there were so many layers to this book. Josh was flawed and yet so loveable and his kids, who would have drove me nuts, were adorable. I love the characters in this book and I love the tender moments shared between father and child. I love Josh’s monologue and thoughts and I only wish I could be half as clever as him.
When I first started reading this book, I thought this is exactly why I don’t want kids. They make you want to pull out your hair and drive over the cliff. And let me tell you, I was quite surprised when Josh didn’t do that himself. While I was reading this book, however, my perspective towards children and parenthood started to change. Don’t get me wrong, I’m still indifferent towards having kids, but at the same time I feel like I understand parenting a little better than I did before I started this book. I’m definitely one of those people who blame the parent when I see a child misbehaving in a store, not realizing that sometimes there are extraneous reasons as to why the child is acting like that. I’m not typically around children a lot, especially children with Asperger’s Syndrome so it was extremely enlightening to read this book and learn so much about the disease.
Fathermucker was an extremely enjoyable book that balances well humor and seriousness. It genuine and sincere and although it’s probably geared more towards dudes, I think it’s a book that everyone would enjoy, regardless of your gender, or whether you’re a parent or not.