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Dad Is Fat

Dad Is Fat - Jim Gaffigan It's simple: If you like Jim Gaffigan's work, you'll like this book -- especially if you get the audio version, because he reads it himself.

If you aren't familiar with his comedy, please stop living such a needlessly sad life and check out one of his albums. I recommend "King Baby" (an escalator that's not working "is like having a dead butler") and "Mr. Universe" ("If you want to know what it's like to have a fourth kid, just imagine you're drowning, and then someone hands you a baby"). Actually, all his albums are good; I just like these best.

So check out his comedy, and then read his book. (Or listen to it.) Or read his book, and like it enough to want to listen to his comedy. I'm not the boss of you. Unless I am, in which case I order you to read his book and listen to his comedy. At the same time. Just to really mess with your head.

But I digress. What I enjoyed most about this book was that, yes, okay, it's yet another parenting book about how holy CRAP is this parenting gig tough; but it's way funnier than most. And Gaffigan never once acts as if children have been foisted on him. (I hate it when men do that.) He has admitted in interviews that if he's on the road, the first day alone is kind of nice, but after that he really misses his family. He talks in this book about how and why he travels a lot with them.

And I love how cognizant he is of how hard he lucked out in marrying Emmy-nominated Jeannie Noth. She's his producer, co-writer, partner, and -- well, love of his life doesn't seem to go far enough. Also, she's a babe. Yes, after hearing so much glowing praise, I checked. Thank you, nosy Internet. Gaffigan manages to pretty much worship her in print without ever getting sticky or mawkish. Three cheers for a male comic who doesn't feel obligated to sneer at his spouse and marriage in general.

(Maybe we're finally trending that way. Paul F. Tompkins and Patton Oswalt are similarly tender, and Louis CK was respectfully affectionate and wistful toward his wife on every one of his albums even during and after their breakup. So there's hope.)

Back to Gaffigan. As he points out, it's very unusual to have five children these days; so even parents will find novelty in this story of juggling a large family of very close-in-age offspring. Non-parents should read this for the same reason they wanted to go the circus when they were kids: it's fun to ooh and aah at a spectacle that's nothing like what you think of as real life.

I've posted a bunch of quotes from the book if you want to get a sense of what this book reads like. I would have posted more, but I was usually doing the dishes while I listened.