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Fatherhood

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3.93 of 5 stars 3.93  ·  rating details  ·  4,601 ratings  ·  214 reviews
From one of America's most beloved funnymen comes a hilarious look at the lighter side of fatherhood. So, what is fatherhood...?

It's pretending the present you love most is soap-on-a-rope.

It's helping your children learn English as a second language.

It's asking your son to make up a name rather than tell anyone who he is.

It's knowing that "Everything's okay, Dad!" means "I
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Paperback, 192 pages
Published May 1st 1987 by Berkley Trade (first published 1986)
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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Chris
This was a very enjoyable read! It was another one of those books that I’ve know about for a long time, but never had the interest in reading. I came across it again recently, and, since now I am a father of two, thought it might be interesting. It was. I laughed on almost every page. What I loved most is that Cosby is so sarcastic about his appreciation for his children, speaking often of a concealed desire to set them on fire or getting rid of them and making new ones. He refers many times to ...more
Philip
For some reason, my father-in-law is not a big Bill Cosby fan. We've never really talked about why this is, but it's common knowledge around here and it gets brought up from time to time.

My mother-in-law saw this at a used book sale and gave it to me as a gift from him, telling me how much he loves Cosby, knowing the whole time that we both knew he didn't. It was pretty funny. The only thing funnier would have been if she left me a note on the inside cover extolling Cosby's virtues while mimicki
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Paul Dubuc
I read this book as a young father and didn't get too much encouragement from of it. I loved Cosby's comic routines and the Cosby Show, but I guess I was expecting some deeper insights on fathering more than all the cynical humor about all the trouble kids cause their parents. I also wondered why the book needed a lengthy introduction and afterward by a Harvard psychiatrist. Dr. Poussaint seemed to be trying to salvage Cosby's content with some expert professional advice on raising kids. Not tha ...more
Shawn
I gave this two stars because I did chuckle a few times. Otherwise, I would give it one star.

I've enjoyed Bill Cosby on television and seen a few clips of comedy routines that I found humorous, but as written material, his comedy falls flat. Bill Cosby's delivery accounts for 80% of the routine. Without his delivery, the book sounds merely like hyperbolic cynicism. In addition, it would have been improved immensely by leaving out the profane and occasionally blasphemous language.

To make matters
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Charles
A humorous account of Cosby's fatherhood days, interspersed with some comic, some intelligent and some nonsensical material. However, it is quite hard to get a coherent message on the subject sometimes, even if you get a laugh or two instead.

While I did not find Cosby's book to be a particularly illuminating guide on fatherhood, it is, nevertheless, an entertaining read. On the other hand, one should not dismiss this book as comic, bargain-bin trash. There are some good points as well. Such as t
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Jennifer
Classic Cosby. As mentioned if you've seen his comedy special Bill Cosby: Himself this is the text (extended) version.
He doesn't blast parenthood or kids, but he does relay how it's not as beautiful and damn sure not easy being a parent, let alone a father. In the end all the work pays off in knowing you did your best. He also says some tidbits like making sure never to ignore your children and refrain from calling them an idiot (and of course people slip on occasion).
Ric
As if by fate, just when the allegations of rape are exploding on Bill Cosby's face, I chanced upon this book last Saturday, 22 November 2014, in a big rummage sale of books. And yes, I bought this book not because I am a fan of Bill Cosby or I am about to be a father soon but because I wanted to see and maybe even mock his "fatherly advice", in light of the revelation of his dark side.

This book is more like a written form of a big comedy routine featuring sketches about American family life, th
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Carolyn
First off, I chose to read this because he was in town but too expensive for me to see. Secondly, I was actually surprised and disappointed in this book (saved me from spending too much money on his show, I guess). Surprised by the swearing and sometimes vulgarity he shares when I never viewed him that way before. Disappointed because he seems to demean children a whole lot more than he praises them. Of course, there were some funny lines that he shares accurately about the difficulties of child ...more
Paula Dembeck
Cosby, speaking from a father’s perspective and with his unique sense of humour, discusses the many different aspects of fatherhood, from first making the decision to have a child, weathering the changes a child brings to a family and finally tackling the difficult issue of discipline and managing the child’ search for independence. He makes you laugh out loud at all the pitfalls of parenting and show parents everywhere that they are not alone in what can be a frustrating but joyful process.

Ther
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Tim Laib
If you like Bill Cosby, then you'll love this book. It's about how he found ways to be a father. This is one of the funniest books I've ever read.
Christopher Rush
Most likely the people who read this book are fans of Billy Cosby - it's unlikely anyone interested in just reading a book on parenting/fathering would read it without knowing who Bill Cosby is. This may not have been the original intended audience, but for this book to have any staying power 30-some years after it was written, that's most likely the only way it will continue. If this is so, the majority of the content will be a bit repetitious to the audience already familiar with the comedy al ...more
Lisa
Taken as a standalone book, this isn't really a four but I think that misses the point. The intro/afterword by Pouissant really helps to contextualize why this book is really something. Cosby's humorous take on fatherhood will be familiar to anyone who watched The Cosby Show, but what felt more real about this book in particular was the underlying message of how important parenting and fatherhood really is. Given the crises within the black community regarding single parent homes, this book seem ...more
cheryl
Nov 04, 2011 cheryl marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
funny
Amancay
-November 25, 1999
I was at my grandfather's for Thanksgiving when I picked up this book. I was soon laughing out loud all by myself! My sister, quite confused, asked me what I was reading (I had taken the paper sleeve cover off of the hardback edition). Once I explained it was Cosby, she just smiled and asked of she could be next.
So far (I'm already half way through the whole thing) Cosby's every little antic has seriously made me laugh out loud. Therefore I wouldn't recommend reading this say,
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Kamas Kirian
This is a wonderful book, and just as relevant today as it was when first published over 25 years ago. The only thing that kept this from being a 5-star review was the forward and afterword by Alvin Poussaint. What Dr. Cosby wrote is not just quotable and funny, but uproariously hilarious and something I can see in myself as I spend time with my daughter. What Dr. Poussaint wrote came across as much too academic and a little bit preachy.

As I read this I kept imagining what my parents may have th
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Lance
So with Father's Day in June, I thought it appropriate to choose this tome for my next read. My experience was not what I expected.

I remember when I was a kid Bill Cosby had this show called Picture Pages. The show featured a workbook with pages that the kids would complete together with Bill on the tele. I never had Picture Pages, but I remember watching the show and wanting so very much to have that workbook so that I could follow along. Then as I got older I remember The Cosby Show and how fu
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Cora Farris
This quarter I chose to read a non-fiction book. This makes it very easy to identify the purpose, which in this case is to inform readers about the humorous ups and downs of raising children. “Yes, having a child is surely the most beautifully irrational act that two people in love can commit.” (Cosby, Bill. Fatherhood, pg. 18). Conversely, the theme seems to be that children are more enjoyable when you have less contact with them. The prime example of this is the tale of Jeffrey the airborne te ...more
Go
Hysterical from start to finish. As usual Bill Cosby’s humor hits home. He has so many ludicrous everyday family situations that are funny because they really happen, like the loss of bathroom privacy and begging children. It is relevant to anyone who is a parent, plans to be a parent, or who has ever been part of a family…so for everyone. His wit is for all ages. I had a smile plastered on my face throughout and laughed non-stop. If ever I feel overwhelmed with raising my 4 children I will pick ...more
Ayla
After having 3 kids of my own, I can truly relate to what he says in this must read book. He brings humor to situations that at times can be baffling and annoying. It is true that when you feel the most upset with your childs behavior after the passing of time, it becomes hysterical. As you both learn from each experience and when you are most upset , pass on the curse, "wait till you have kids of your own and they treat you like you treat me"
Rosa Cline
If you like watching 'The Cosby Show' you will really enjoy reading this book! He based the show off his real life family and many of the antics the children do in the show are in this book that his own children did. He's talking mainly to men who are a 'father' or becoming one but as a mom of four (most are grown so I could for certainly relate) I loved reading this. Many of the things he talked about I smiled and nodded agreeing with him! You won't regret taking the time to read this.
Rosa Cline
If you like watching 'The Cosby Show' you will really enjoy reading this book! He based the show off his real life family and many of the antics the children do in the show are in this book that his own children did. He's talking mainly to men who are a 'father' or becoming one but as a mom of four (most are grown so I could for certainly relate) I loved reading this. Many of the things he talked about I smiled and nodded agreeing with him! You won't regret taking the time to read this.
Jacob O'connor
Funny stuff. I remember watching Bill Cosby's standup when I was a little boy. Now it makes sense.

This was written the better part of 30 years ago. Got me thinking. When I was young, we (like everybody else) used to watch the Cosby show. Theo Huxtable was the quintessential father. When I look at the models that society holds up for fatherhood now, I can't help but lament how that ideal has fallen from grace. Put another way - I can't think of any good fathers in popular culture. This can't be a
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Michael
Needed to be able to laugh at my most recent aggravations, know that everyone faces the agonies of the teen years. Good to get the perspective of someone who can see the humor and love the kids through it all. I appreciated it much more this time around; first picked it up when the oldest (now 14) was still a baby.
Stacy Fetters
I brought you into this world and I can take you out.

Bill Cosby is one hilarious mofo. He just tells you how it is and pulls no punches.
This book had me cracking up from page one.
An extremely hilarious read about being a dad and deciding to give up your life to make others.
Bethany
I'm curious to know if the introduction and afterword were also written in 1986, because this is some forward thinking. Although the majority of this book is humorous, there are valuable tidbits throughout. Some of my favorites - parents make a lot of mistakes and it's ok, your kids will drive you nuts but you love them anyway, you're going to be broke forever. Really looking forward to parenting :) But, Alvin's sections talk about not gender stereotyping your child at an early age and making su ...more
Edward Creter
In my miond no celebrity father reeks of more meanness than Bill Cosby, whose every attempt to humanize parenting feels more like one complaint after another. And he advocates spanking while selling Jell-o Pudding pops. Puh-leese!
John and Kris
I enjoyed Cosby’s Fatherhood as it was filed with classic Cosby humor. I still find it hard to differentiate between Cosby the Man and Cosby the Sweatered Personality. Published in 1986, the year I completed Kindergarten by not eating glue (well, not much), somebody paid $14.95 for the hardcover copy at a B Dalton Bookstore.

As Cosby repeatedly told humorous stories of his own five children’s antics I couldn’t help but think of his son’s murder in the mid nineties, which sobered my amusement at
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Dale Brown
I love Bill Cosby and this book was classic Cosby. I could actually see The Cosby Show sitcoms as I was reading the book. There were 4-5 pieces of good advice. A few laughs because I could actually hear Bill Cosby's voice saying these things. But it was not a page turner. Nor did it have to be as long as it was, and it was not that long. For the most part this book let me down. I was really hoping for some wisdom from T.V.'s favorite dad. However, I guess I will just have to keep watching The Co ...more
Michael
I picked up the "Nationwide #1 Bestseller Deluxe Paperback Edition" of "Fatherhood" for fifty cents from a historic society's book sale. Like much of Bill Cosby's work, it's a gem.

This is a guide to parenting. It follows along the lines of Cosby's famous standup routine so some of the material will feel familiar. Many of the antidoctes told in here also found their way into the Cosby Show. That said, it's great and you should read it.

Since I am so privileged to own the "Deluxe Paperback Edition
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American comedian, actor, television producer, activist, and luminary. A veteran stand-up performer, he got his start at various clubs, then landed a vanguard role in the 1960s action show I Spy.

He later starred in his own series, The Bill Cosby Show, in the late 1960s. He was one of the major characters on the children's television show for its first two seasons, and created the humorous educati
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“Having a child is surely the most beautifully irrational act that two people in love can commit.” 131 likes
“In spite of the six thousand manuals on child raising in the bookstores, child raising is still a dark continent and no one really knows anything. You just need a lot of love and luck - and, of course, courage.” 30 likes
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