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Parents Behaving Badly

3.15  ·  Rating Details ·  285 Ratings  ·  74 Reviews
An uproarious, surprising, and poignant satire of American suburbia and youth sports gone wild

When Ben and Jili Holden must move from Manhattan with their three children back to their small hometown of Palace Valley, California, they are forced to reconcile the parents they’ve become with the dreams they had, the choices they’ve made, and a sex life much more down-to-earth
Hardcover, 224 pages
Published April 12th 2011 by Touchstone
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Community Reviews

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Mar 13, 2011 Arlene rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this book. Even though it was the busiest time for me to stop and read, I made this book a priority, keeping it nearby to finish. Why? Because I couldn't wait to see what happened next. If you have ever been a parent or a child experiencing little league baseball ; you will read this book, reminising about the parents and yes coaches, you remember behaving badly. The fact that Mr Gummer was a sports writer comes through very strong in this book, with the detailed descriptions of ...more
Linda Munro
Mar 18, 2011 Linda Munro rated it really liked it
Well, this was definately a pleasant surprise!How does an author mix a satirical behind the scenes look at Parents Gone Mad little league action with a look inside the life of a middle-aged couple uprooted from their big city East Coast life, returning to their small town West Coast roots? How does that same author make this combination a hard-to-put-down, page turner? Well, you'll have to read Parents Behaving Badly to find out!

I was not sure if I truly wanted to read this book, I kept overloo
Kevin Tegan
May 02, 2011 Kevin Tegan rated it did not like it
This novel had too much on its plate:
a. satire of bland, bored suburban malaise;
b. the mid-life crisis of a whiny protagonist who is supposedly still struggling with moving back to the bland, boring suburban malaise he grew up in;
c. a parody of the excessive competitiveness in youth sports...
I could go on, but the point is that Parents Behaving Badly doesn't succeed on any of these fronts.
Norma Wright
Mar 10, 2011 Norma Wright rated it liked it
Shelves: new-reads
When I first started this book I wasn't sure if I could finish it. I'm glad I stuck with it. Scott Gummer pulled me in and made the characters believable to me. I loved Gummer's humor and his story. Having had a child in Little League baseball, I can tell you that Gummer is "spot on" when he talks about the parent's behavior.
Mar 10, 2011 Doria rated it really liked it
Shelves: scott-s-books
I found this book very easy to read from the time I picked it up until I put it down, finished a few hours later. The topic hit very close to home. Keeping me very much inclined to turn the next page seeing how the author could some how peek into my own life yet again. I liked it enough to want to find and read his first book. A light read but very enjoyable.
Mar 14, 2011 Ashley rated it it was ok
Recommends it for: sports fans; parents with children in organized sports
I won this advance copy in a goodreads giveaway.

Parents Behaving Badly centers around the Holden family. After raising three children in Manhattan, Ben and Jili move the family back to their hometown of Palace Valley, California to care for Jili's aging mother. When Ben's father, a beloved retired high school baseball coach, passes away, Ben's sons ask to join Little League to honor their grandfather's memory. Ben's strained relationship with his father had led him to avoid the sport of basebal
C.E. Hart
Mar 21, 2011 C.E. Hart rated it really liked it
Parents Behaving Badly, by Scott Gummer, is a fun read. Several scenes are hilarious, but the sweet, tender side to this story makes it most memorable.

Ben and Jili move back to their hometown, where many broken and unfulfilled dreams are buried. As they adjust to their once familiar surroundings, they learn to deal with the ghosts of their pasts. Old flames flicker, secrets are revealed, and unspoken questions receive answers.

To be honest, I feel the beginning of the story is a little slow and
Mar 07, 2011 Maggie rated it really liked it
Got this as a Goodreads giveaway and I was very excited to read it. My two children had been though the local soccer program and I was anxious to see if any of the bad behaving parents from the book seemed familiar. While our soccer program had the occasional parent/coach who put his child above others or the parents who used the program for a babysitter, that now seems tame compared to this story.

This is the story of Ben and his wife Jili. They were living the good life in New York until they m
Mar 14, 2011 Sandra rated it did not like it
Shelves: first-reads
Here's the main reason I didn't like this book: I find the topic of Little League Baseball to be quite boring. So the vast majority of the novel did not hold my interest one bit. I kept hoping maybe things would turn around and get interesting.

What's more, Parents Behaving Badly read, well, badly. At the beginning of the book I had a hard time keeping straight which character was which. Part of the problem is the author never really spent any time telling me who was who and the other part of th
Mar 14, 2011 Katie rated it it was ok
Shelves: free-book, 2011
I won this book from Goodreads and thought it would mainly be about little league baseball parents, and a good part of it was. The writing about little league was VERY spot on. I grew up watching my older brothers play baseball and I've also seen my son play baseball and things have changed over the past 20 years. Gummer did an excellent job describing different kinds of players and parents. I very much enjoyed that part of this story, though I do think the ending was a little too "hunky-dory" a ...more
Mar 25, 2011 Robin rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Mar 20, 2011 Wendie rated it liked it
Disclaimer: I got this book from the Goodreads First Reads....
The first chapter introduced too many characters right off the bat that I couldn't keep track of until the 3rd chapter or so. It does portray sports parents in a very real way & the reader is just as appalled at their behavior as are the main characters. Eventually you figure out who is who among the characters. You find yourself rooting for the main characters - Jilli and Ben - to work things out & rise above the behavior of
Melissa Kiebort
Aug 06, 2012 Melissa Kiebort rated it really liked it
I loved this book! It takes place mainly from Paul's, a mid-age dad, son, brother, and husband, perspective. He has a teenage daughter and 2 sons, both that are foraying into Little League baseball upon their recent move back from Manhattan to the small CA town where he and his wife grew up. It delves into the relationship he had with his dad, a local legend as a State Champion high school baseball coach (but no too much that it becomes the focal point of the story). At the heart is the family a ...more
Marjana Simic
Mar 09, 2011 Marjana Simic rated it it was ok
Shelves: parenting
I was lucky to receive this book from the Goodreads First Reads giveaway. I was very excited to start reading it. Unfortunately, it didn't live up to my expectation. I may be biased with this review because I don't know anything about baseball, therefore, I didn't understand half the book and I found myself skipping paragraphs. I thought the book would be about parents behaving badly and would have a story of some great revelation, as the title suggests, but instead the plot completely revolved ...more
Mar 13, 2011 Yvonne rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Parents w/kids in organized sports
This book should be required reading for any parent signing up their precious little one for sports as well as anyone contemplating coaching! An enjoyable and quick read, it has a nice "people-watching" feel to it as it explores just how messed-up suburban families can be. I wanted the plot to dig a little deeper...the conflicts were almost watered down, but sometimes it's nice to have a light read. I also liked hearing the story from the male perspective. Parents Behaving Badly will appeal just ...more
Melissa Lee-Tammeus
I picked up this book because an author I deeply love, Tom Perrotta, recommended it. And to be honest, I have mixed emotions about this book. I really wanted to like it - and I did - but not as much as I wanted to. A few times, I wanted to just put it down and walk away because it just wasn't doing it for me, but I insisted on keeping it going because I wanted it to work. Here's the deal - if you like books about parents and midlife crisis and kids, you're in the right department. But then you h ...more
Mar 12, 2011 Dianna rated it it was ok
I won this book from the Goodreads First Reads giveaway.
Full disclosure, I entered to win this book mostly because I was in the mood to read about parents behaving like what I’ve seen on the fields when my own children were in youth sports (badly!)
There were so many characters introduced at first I could barely keep up, but eventually I fell into mildly following Ben and Jill, and that’s about it. This may just be me, I have no interest in baseball itself and baseball is almost a character itsel
Mar 19, 2011 Courtney rated it it was ok
I won this book as a Goodreads First Reads Giveaway and immediately started reading it.
Based on the title of the book, I was expecting some scandalous activity from suburban parents. Not so much. I found the beginning of the book to be clumsy. Too many characters were introduced too quickly, along with detailed information that seemed completely irrelevant to what was going on. It was like the author was trying too hard to lay the groundwork for their personalities instead of just letting it com
Crystal Wachoski
Mar 14, 2011 Crystal Wachoski rated it it was ok
This book started out catching my attention, describing the typical American family. Then somewhere along the line it lost my attention. The topic would change, and be totally on a different subject on the same page. The story line was good, but felt that the writer could have added on more about the relationship with his father.

The little league scenes got old after awhile, and there were alot of little fillers.

I found Jilli, and Cyn, as the most interesting characters. I loved Jilli's outward
Mar 14, 2011 Emily rated it did not like it
I started out mostly annoyed by the numerous grammatical errors. Let's just hope there's a final edit before the book is released. Then, I was annoyed by the total lack of reality the story line possessed, mainly the wife. You could tell this book was written by a MAN because of the overly horny wife and the overbearing details of every second of the actual baseball. The use of celebrities was also overplayed and so far from reality that I almost laughed evertime the author brought in the notion ...more
Mar 14, 2011 Tabitha rated it liked it
Shelves: first-reads
I received this book from the GoodReads Giveaway. I really enjoyed this book, to my surprise. It was a quick read, with a great story that moved along steadily and wrapped up nicely. I don't know a whole lot about baseball, so I did get a little lost at times, but I was still drawn into the games and the players' interactions with each other and their coaches. There were some parts of the story that I would've liked to see fleshed out a little more, and other parts that didn't seem terrible impo ...more
Matt Middlebrook
Aug 28, 2010 Matt Middlebrook rated it it was amazing
Scott Gummer has nailed it with his book "Parents Behaving Badly". The book is very, very funny, laugh out loud funny in places, but it's a touching view of the constantly evolving relationships between husband and wife and parents and children. But what I loved most about this book is that while done with a humorous approach, Scott has created a story that everyone can find themselves in, whether as a parent, a former Little Leaguer, a teenager whose parents just don't get them. It is a short, ...more
Joel Burgess
Dec 10, 2013 Joel Burgess rated it really liked it
I really liked this book. It gave a good look into the dark side of little league baseball( not too much but just enough) The secondary story lines really were good as well with Ben's relationship with friends and family. His relationship with Gilly was great and gave good insight to mind of the middle aged man (oh, come on guys, you know you have thought some of the same things Ben did). I found myself laughing out loud at the jokes and couldn't wait for the story to unfold. I highly recommend ...more
Aug 20, 2011 Lynn rated it liked it
This could have been titled "Bratty Kids and Their Even Brattier Parents." It is a very well-written easy read and, in some parts, laugh-out-loud funny. However, it's a little hard to empathize with or relate to anyone in the book. Ben, the protagonist, is likable and sympathetic at times but usually only when he's trying to figure out his relationship to his recently-deceased father, "Coach." Otherwise, he, like most of the other adult characters in this book, appears to have way too much time ...more
Feb 03, 2013 Patti rated it liked it
If you are a parent with a child in any sport, then you know how badly some parents can act. My son has been a baseball player for years, so I could relate to quite a bit of the scenarios in the book. The kids just want to have fun, but some parents look at their kid's playing as a life or death experience. I think we all know at least one parent who has exhibited this type of behavior at their children't games. An OK read, but I found it a bit lacking. I started it three times before I could fi ...more
Aug 14, 2011 Kathy rated it liked it
This book captures perfectly how completely out of hand some Little League parents and coaches get when they lose perspective. Ben Holden, son of the town's most famous baseball coach (who expires at the beginning of the book) has spent his life trying not to be like his Dad, but finds that he has more in common with him than he thought.

Things get wrapped up way too neatly, but this was still a decent read. I wouldn't mind watching a game with Ben.
Leticia Leberthon
Feb 28, 2013 Leticia Leberthon rated it did not like it
This book was an insult to my intelligence and a waste of time. I think high school students could write a better novel. It came recommended from friends who know the author and we thought we could sit down with him and discuss it. After reading this book I wasn't interested in meeting him. The worst thing I've read in years. People kept saying it was funny but I only laughed once and I almost forced myself, looking for a laugh. I found it ridiculous.
Sep 25, 2011 Teresa rated it liked it
I picked this up as a whim at Borders last year, because the title made me laugh. It was a funny read and the perfect transition book for me after reading the intense Hunger Games series. The book has a very observational tone and takes place over the course of a season of Little League in a fictional California town. In some places, it would have been nice to have a little more depth, but it's just not that kind of book. Once you've accepted that, you can enjoy the ride.
Sep 11, 2011 Nicole rated it it was ok
Just ok. Some profound thoughts on youth sports that got weirdly tangled with a sub-plot involving an infatuation (and lots of sexual overtones). Would've been better if it had just stuck with the premise of crazy sports parents - lots to write about there. Just didn't really work for me so can't recommend.
Mar 12, 2011 Melissa rated it it was ok
I received the book for free through Goodreads First Reads. Enjoyable quick read. Could have used more character development to be better invested in some of the storylines. Enjoyed the Little League coaching scenes. There were a bunch of funny moments, and a very sweet ending, but not completely believable overall.
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