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Home Game: An Accidental Guide to Fatherhood

3.61  ·  Rating Details  ·  2,964 Ratings  ·  463 Reviews
A story of raging egos, brutal power struggles and fraught decision making, from the bestselling author of Liar's Poker, Michael Lewis.

Home Game: An Accidental Guide to Fatherhood is probably the most brazenly honest and wickedly funny book about parenting ever written.

Michael Lewis thought he'd seen it all. He'd worked in the city. He knew how to deal with the worst exces
Paperback, 144 pages
Published June 4th 2009 by Penguin (first published 2009)
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Jun 04, 2009 RandomAnthony rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I have a request. Do NOT buy Home Team for anyone as a Father’s Day gift. DO NOT DO NOT DO NOT. Thank you.

Here’s why:

• This book is no-thought-necessary present for people who don’t know shit about the father in question. If you knew anything about the father in question, you would know he doesn’t want this book.
• The father doesn’t want this book if he’s a reader. The gauzy cover with the author drinking coffee while his child sits on his lap screams “Not a real book! Not a real book!” and the
Nov 04, 2009 Tony rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfiction
It's kind of interesting that two excellent Berkeley-based writers named Michael both happened to come out with a book of ruminations on modern fatherhood (and its corollary, manhood) within a few months of each other. Since we added a second child to our own household a few months ago, and I'm now on (unpaid) leave to take care of him for a few months, this struck me as a good time to check out what two writers I greatly respect have to say on my current profession. (The other book is Michael C ...more
Jun 24, 2009 Eric_W rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Teaser: If you have a weak mind, are unable to turn off your "I am sooo offended brain cells", wear polyester shorts, have plastic on your furniture, and just can't bear to see a naughty word, skip this review.

Take 1: My wife and I are listening to this while driving up into Minnesota on vacation (mixed in with some of my favorite old Booknotes shows with Brian Lamb -- the guy is the best, bar none, interviewer around -- when she nods off.) She's not nodding off because of the book because it ha
Nancy Kennedy
Feb 03, 2012 Nancy Kennedy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I think I was meant to be a father. I sympathize completely with Michael Lewis's take on the divide between what men are supposed to feel upon becoming a father and what they actually do feel. "Maternal love may be instinctive," he says, "but paternal love is learned behavior." He admits to feelings of indifference, resentment and even "the odd Murderous Impulse."

Be assured, Mr. Lewis, that you're writing for a certain portion of the maternal community, too. My husband took a picture of me, post
Jul 26, 2009 Brian rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
A few hilariously funny anecdotal stories aside, this book by Michael Lewis is poison. While somewhat entertaining, and an extremely easy and quick read, this book provides little insight into 'real' fatherhood. It does little more than propagate the hideous fallacy that only mothers can be the true nurturers and care-givers for our children, and any attempts by a man to do so can only be inadequate. Furthermore, Lewis would have you believe if you are a father and you do feel confident in takin ...more
Apr 23, 2012 Mike rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I have enjoyed most of what I've read by Michael Lewis...well, at least his writings that aren't about high finance. In Home Game he takes it to a whole new level. On most days Lewis doesn't seem the type to win 'Parent of the Year' awards, but throughout this book he gives a highly engaging, hilarious, and ultimately heartwarming take on life as a father of young kids (mostly daughters). I suspect anyone who has ever been one will find this take very familiar. There were times when I thought he ...more
This is a hilarious account of learning to be a father in the 21st century. I actually gave this book to a guy friend of mine who is struggling with the idea of marriage and fatherhood in the near future, and he stayed up all night reading and laughing, which is amazing since he's even more of a reluctant reader than he is a reluctant grownup. Myself, I was able to read it in just a few hours--it's light and amusing but makes some real points about the naturalness of maternity versus the learne ...more
Do you want to read about a guy who has a self-deprecating view of himself as a father, who yearns for an earlier age when fatherhood was all about earning the bacon and not about dealing with the casual insults that your daughters might throw in your face? Do you want to read a book by a guy who's proud of how few diapers he has changed during the lives of his three children, and read a humorous account of his wife's struggle with post-partum depression? Do you want to read about the three smal ...more
Mildly entertaining but too much in the vein of 'bumbling sitcom dad and shrewish wife' for my taste.

+10 points for the part where someone tells him she loved his essays about his son in the Luxembourg Gardens and I thought "no, that was Adam Gopnik," just as he says "no, that was Adam Gopnik." Possibly I have read too much in the sub-sub-genre of nonfiction about raising children in Paris.
Blake Gaudet
As the reality of fatherhood fast approaches, I've been eager to soak up any and all advice I can get my hands on. I'm a notorious "Googler", researching everything to the point of information overload, so I was pretty excited when this book was recommended to me.

The Good - it was pretty funny. I won't deny Lewis that. It was also a quick read and the journal format made it easy to stop and start as necessary.

The Bad - Lewis' concept of fatherhood is so far outside of my own expectations that I
Reading Home Game, I wondered if Michael Lewis was aware that he’s not a normal person anymore, or if he’d simply spent too much time married to MTV News correspondents, hobnobbing with Wall Street bankers, rubbing shoulders with superstars of football and baseball, and jet-setting with wealthy college boosters to know what it’s like to be a normal father and husband. This is not to say that I didn’t enjoy Home Game—it’s a breezy read filled with interesting and humorous anecdotes that, even if ...more
My husband is a fan of Michael Lewis's books, in particular Moneyball and The Blind Side, so when I saw that Lewis had a book about fatherhood, I figured it would be a good one for him to check out. I think I was right. As he read in bed next to me, he laughed out loud and even read me a couple passages (usually one of my annoying habits that I really appreciate seeing in others). He finished the book quickly, and mostly took away from it that Ferberizing is out of date, and that having more tha ...more
Jun 13, 2009 Richard rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: I would not.
Recommended to Richard by: I read a very overblown review.
I wonder if Malcolm Gladwell (author of The Tipping Point) who wrote a raving comment for the jacket of this book and I read the same book. I do not think Mr. Lewis is the "finest storyteller of our generation".

His guide to fatherhood reads like a series of newspaper columns, although, indeed, they are from a Web magazine he contributes to. Some are mildly amusing; just not those where he proudly recalls his little girls quoting his worst potty-mouthed, rapper ghetto-speak.

The funniest section i
Sep 12, 2012 Eric rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I've always enjoyed Michael Lewis' interviews on The Daily Show, so I was determined to read something of his at some point. This book humerous and quite touching at times. Maybe even a little instructive if you haven't been there yet yourself. I could certainly relate to a lot of it, although there were a few "oh, don't ever do that" and "it wasn't like that at all" moments. The quotes from his oldest daughter at a very young age are astounding. Even if she didn't quite know what she was saying ...more
May 25, 2009 Nick rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The author of a billion books on smart people things, and praised by Malcolm Gladwell as our generation's finest storyteller, Michael Lewis is hilarious, sincere, and uncompromisingly masculine. In other words, he's the perfect person to write a book on true-to-life experiences in fatherhood, such as being strangely proud when his daughter says "motherfucker" in a public place, and characterizing himself and all fathers as unwitting "unreliable employees" in the eyes of their spouses. This book ...more
Jun 22, 2015 Joseph rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audio-cd
This was horrible. I have the audio CD's to listen in the car when commuting and I was done with disk 1 before I checked out the reviews. They were mostly negative and I can see why. I only wish I read them first and didn't waste 1-2 days of my life on this. There was something clearly lost with another person reading this maybe and the fact that I don't know Michael Lewis as writer or person. He seemed like a dad who felt being a dad was too much work and that he had other important things to d ...more
Dan Phillips
Jul 05, 2015 Dan Phillips rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2015
The back of the book says that Home Game "explores the difference between the idea of fatherhood and a man's actual experience of it." Then in the introduction, Lewis reflects thoughtfully about the difference between the parental expectations placed on his own father and the taller order fathers of his (our?) generation are (rightly) given. But both of these are red herrings, really -- more suggestions on how to frame what you're about to read than an indication of what you're in for. I would h ...more
May 06, 2014 Gail rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
To read Michael Lewis’s ruminations on any subject is a pleasure; to review his contemporaneous reflections on new parenthood leaves me with only one complaint: why so short? (He was working on some silly baseball book, apparently.) Like any memoir, “Home Game” offers up some universal experiences and emotions, and others that will resonate with only a subset of readers. Some stories find humor while others most prominently feature commiserable defeat. While Lewis brings his formidable storytell ...more
Paul O'Grady
Mar 21, 2014 Paul O'Grady rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: humor
I know a book is good when I get so engrossed that I almost forget to get off the train at my subway stop (leading to an unexpected visit across the East River to Queens!). The essays in Home Game were entertaining and amusing, but there was something more profound lurking in the stories too. It's hard in this modern era to know your role as a father. I've learned quickly that maternal instincts are a real thing and something I don't understand. This book captures the state of bewilderment men s ...more
Adam Shields
Short review: I have been wanting to read something by Michael Lewis so I picked this up when I saw it on the Kindle Unlimited list. I mostly enjoyed it. I think we need more men to talk about their experiences with the changing role of fathers. And we need honesty about how that works. At times I still felt Lewis used the idiot Dad voice. Some of that was probably real ignorance and attempts to be honest about that. But others times it felt like he was just falling into the stereotype that was ...more
Bob Ryan
A entertaining book about the fatherhood side of childbirth and raising small children. It's based on the author's experience with his own three children written over a period of years. The stories originally appeared as magazine articles in real time.
The stories are entertaining and Lewis' viewpoint lends a refreshing air to what might be a collection of fatherly bliss. Lewis isn't afraid to stick the needle in a little. It doesn't matter whether its his wife, kids or himself, Lewis finds a ge
Jun 04, 2014 Lane rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The book obviously polarizes people - lots of 1-star and 5-star reviews. That's Michael Lewis, who is funny and observant but also relies heavily on anecdote rather than analysis.

But he isn't trying to make a great analytical statement about a major area of public policy in this book. It's an impressionistic account of early fatherhood, from a funny man who doesn't take himself terribly seriously. (The bit on his own vasectomy was worth the price for me.) This is a slightly self-indulgent, well
Joe Slavinsky
Jan 24, 2016 Joe Slavinsky rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'm not sure where it was, that I heard about this book. I've read Lewis' "Moneyball", which was the book that upset Major League Baseball, almost as much as "Ball Four", by Jim Bouton(which I read years ago, when it first came out). Both books are excellent, and I heartily recommend them. The premise of this book struck me, as I am a grandfather of two precious kids. I'm going to pass it along to my son, not only because he recommended "Moneyball" to me, but because he may get something useful ...more
Aug 27, 2015 Sue rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-2015
Lewis can write about any old topic and make it charming and interesting. I haven't read a full book of his since Liars' Power in college so it was nice to get back to him. I bought this book for my husband thinking it would prove that men can bond over parenting too. I later realized it might give me a peak into his parenting mind, one so different than mine. Home Game did exactly what I hoped. It showed me how most men view the parental bond in practice differently than women while, of course, ...more
Strong three stars, not the wishy washy kind of three stars. It was funny enough that I laughed out loud a few times and I enjoyed getting the sense of where he was in his career during each child's birth, but I thought there would be more of something that I can't quite put my finger on. I guess my complaint that is holding me back from giving it four stars is that I didn't come away from reading this with any greater insight into what modern fatherhood is like for the dads. I didn't feel like ...more
Ly-ann Low
As a whole, I was a bit let down by this title by Michael Lewis. I did initially start very hopeful when the narrative begins in France - I thought it might be a male version of Bringing up Bebe, but alas, there is the back and forth between Europe and Stateside that one loses track of, unless you are familiar with the place names.

This is as he says, a compilation of his writings for Slate magazine on observations he's made on familial changes that take place as number one, two and three join t
Peter Mortimer
Home Game offers a more personal view into one of the most popular non-fiction authors of our time through diary entries he has made during the first few years with his children. The overall theme is the struggles of being a father in the 21st century and the responsibilities that come with it. Michael Lewis reveals his struggles of finding a healthy work and life balance, while often questioning his aptness for being a good father. I enjoyed this book a lot, because it offered many entertaining ...more
Lacey Losh
Nov 25, 2014 Lacey Losh rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I loved this memoir - especially since the focus (which is on the author's three children) was never intended as the subject matter for this book. His children stole the show.

What makes this such an interesting read are the gritty details, the everyday honesty and the dark side of parenting that fills many of the pages. You root for Michael Lewis throughout the book as the unlikely good, caring father - even through reading his faults and negative thoughts. He's human, he's a dad, and the book f
John Brugge
I think I enjoyed Joel Stein's "Man Made" much more than this one because Stein chronicled a personal transformation that took place, not an easy or expected one, but one quite honest and touching. The stories from Lewis had humor and were self-deprecating at times, but they seemed like more standard, self-centered, dumb guy things (avoiding spending time with baby daughter because he doesn't know what to do, mishandling a kid's sickness, being afraid of a vasectomy) than anything very revealing ...more
Apr 22, 2015 Darcy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I liked this book. I went from being quite disturbed by Lewis' brutal honesty about his feelings about his children as babies to being moved to tears by his account of taking care of his 11 week old son in the hospital, protecting him from relentless nurses. Then I found myself laughing out loud at his attempt to give a sperm sample in a parking garage. Overall I appreciate his work here. I respect his raw depiction of his perspective on fatherhood.
I've not read his other work though now I am i
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Michael Lewis, the best-selling author of Liar’s Poker, The Money Culture, The New New Thing, Moneyball, The Blind Side, Panic, Home Game, The Big Short, and Boomerang, among other works, lives in Berkeley, California, with his wife and three children.
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“Memory loss is the key to human reproduction. If you remembered what new parenthood was actually like you wouldn’t go around lying to people about how wonderful it is, and you certainly wouldn’t ever do it twice.” 4 likes
“When we walked down the aisle, they played Taco Bell’s Canyon,” Quinn says knowingly. (Named for its German composer, Johann TacoBell.)” 0 likes
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