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Dan Gets a Minivan: Life at the Intersection of Dude and Dad

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3.45  ·  Rating details ·  524 Ratings  ·  100 Reviews
A coming-of-middle-age tale told with warmth and wit, Dan Gets a Minivan provides the one thing every parent really needs: comic relief. Whether you're a dude, a dad, or someone who's married to either, fasten your seat belt and prepare to crack up.

The least hip citizen of Brooklyn, Dan Zevin has a working wife, two small children, a mother who visits each week to "help,"
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Hardcover, 240 pages
Published May 22nd 2012 by Scribner
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j
Jul 07, 2013 rated it liked it
This is the third book in the trilogy of "cool dad" audiobooks I picked up around Father's Day. In some ways, it was the best one (i.e. it was funny -- unlike Dad or Alive: Confessions of an Unexpected Stay-at-Home Dad, which was never, ever funny -- but it was also a bit more substantial than Jim Gaffigan's book of transcribed stand-up routines).

But... it isn't really a dad book. He barely talks about his kids and I'm not quite clear on how many he has or, like, their names. Instead he writes
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Cheryl
Sep 14, 2016 rated it it was ok
I thought the first three chapters were funny, but then the writing style got a bit boring. The humor was kind of for a specific audience: urban "want to be cool" parents. It was hard for me to relate to that. I ended up skimming the last few chapters just to get to the end. A disappointing read.
Ciara
right before i read this book, i read something that said, "dan zevin is like the seinfeld of memoirists. he doesn't write about anything, but he's funny!" & i was like, "oh no." i am not a seinfeld fan. in the sixth grade, this kid that i really hated announced that his favorite TV show was "seinfeld" (& his favorite comic was "mother goose & grimm") & i was like, "anything this toolbag likes can't possibly be worth anything,"& that was that. no seinfeld for me. so i was a b ...more
Susan
Jul 30, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: audio, nonfiction, 2014
Some pretty funny moments in this compilation of stories of a stay-at-home Dad, adjusting to getting older. The author's unique voice made the tales fun to listen to.

However, there were some entries which were repetitious (Aloof Hipster Dad, Dear Lower Extremity or something like that - I listened on audio and can't look it up, and continuous mention of a blog) and after awhile I just found them annoying.

But, for the most part the stories were enjoyable, funny and let me have a peek into the aut
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Bob Eilenfeldt
Oct 22, 2012 rated it liked it
Many humorous moments but still not as consistently funny as Dave Barry
Jennifer Lange
Good - not great. Funniest chapter was "Limping" about his recovery from ACL surgery.
Amalie Howard
Jul 19, 2012 rated it it was amazing
When life is on fast-forward from singledom to coupledom to parentdom with a crash course in survivaldom, you have to roll with the punches. In Dan Zevin's case, he rolls his way into the ultimate "collapsible-seating, DVD-playing, GPS-touting, satellite radio-jamming" driving machine. And life as he knows it is about to go from driveway to highway.

"When life deals you a minivan, you might as well enjoy the ride."

Chock full of laugh out loud moments and completely irreverent humor, this social
...more
Douglas Lord
Dec 12, 2014 rated it really liked it
Zevin is a humorist with archetypal dude reactions to fatherhood, family life, his parents, and getting a minivan. His book represents the kind of easy, accessible humor that father-dudes immediately understand because they, too, have gone from onetime hipster to some schmoe driving a minivan. Losing your cool isnt attractive, but it happens to all of us. If it happened to Bill Cosby (who went from playing Alexander Scott to Dr. Cliff Huxtable), its going to happen to YOU. Zevin succeeds, though ...more
Paul Pessolano
“Dan gets a Minivan” by Dan Zevin, published by Scribner.

Category – Memoir/Comedy

Dan Zevin and his wife are living in Brooklyn with their two small children. Dan and his wife met in college and had a wonderful courtship that finally led to marriage and children, and a dog named Chloe, who prefers riding to walking.

Dan is a stay at home Dad while his wife commutes to downtown New York to her job. They have always preferred Brooklyn to the Suburbs because everything was close, museums, parks, rest
...more
Katie Christian
Jan 16, 2013 rated it liked it
Dan Zevin gives an entertaining and somewhat unique perspective of being a stay-at-home dad. His writing is funny and his stories are upbeat. I wavered between 3 or 4 stars and if possible I would've given 3.5 stars. I liked his writing although it seemed like the end of the book was leading up to something that never exactly clearly manifested.

I'm pretty critical of New York-centered people. New York is not the only city in the country. If you live outside the city you can still live a happy, i
...more
Bailey Myers
Aug 04, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: funny-memoirs, 2014
This is a really cute and humorous novel, taking a look at the lives of aging hipster parents. New Yorkers to the bone, Dan and his wife never thought they would leave the city. After years of trying to fit their two children into their city sized lives and town home, the are now ready to embrace many of the acts of parenting they once may have found beneath them. I loved the bits about Dan's new empire on wheels, his minivan, and his soliloquies to new Hipster Dads. The family even rents a home ...more
Vineel Shah
Aug 05, 2012 rated it it was amazing
This book has nothing to do with my life. Really -- this guy lives in Brooklyn, works from home in the web business, has kids, is around forty, is unathletic, buys a bigger vehicle so he can fit his kids, and dreams of moving to the suburbs. He writes about bringing his kids to play in Carroll Park and looking for part-time nannies. Really nothing like me at all.

I felt like the rock musicians in the 80s who saw This is Spinal Tap for the first time. You come out of it thinking, haha, that was re
...more
Karen!
I am not a man.
I am not married.
I do not have children.
I do not own a minivan.
I do not live in Brooklyn.

And yet. And yet, I find this to be quite possibly the funniest book that I have read in a long while.

Zevin's sense of humor simply resonates with me. He possesses that style of observance unique to intelligent people, followed-up by zingers that many would not recognize.

I particularly enjoyed the section about speaking at a College commencement and the section chronicling taking young childr
...more
Steve
Jun 26, 2012 rated it really liked it
Dan Zevin enters the parenthood years. I really enjoyed this book, and found myself laughing out loud while reading it, particularly in the minivan, courtroom, and date night chapters. While not as relatable as his last book "The Day I Turned Uncool" due to the author's Brooklyn address and stay-at-home dad status, I enjoyed his perspective on being a dad to two kids almost the same age as my own. A short quick read that addresses a different topic relating to the transition from dude to dad wit ...more
Jenni V.
May 29, 2012 rated it liked it
This was a quick, easy breezy read. The author has a very conversational style and writes in a way that is entertaining and funny without making the last line of every chapter a punchline.
Each new chapter starts with a title page with a van at the bottom; it took me a few chapters to realize the van was moving forward with each chapter - a fun extra touch (and a reason why I still prefer actual books over e-books when possible).
Find all my reviews at:
http://readingatrandom.blogspot.com/2...
Joanne
Aug 24, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
Essays about fatherhood, in the vein of Home Game: An Accidental Guide to Fatherhood. Zevin is a freelance writer who decides to be a stay-at-home dad. Not much new territory here, though "Semi Guitar Hero" was pretty funny. Turned off a little by how often he mentions his former writing gigs, and by the overblown blurbing (not his fault) comparing him to the very funny Dave Barry. He captures the competitive mom scene very well.
Chris Aylott
May 12, 2013 rated it liked it
Some of the shtick in here dates back to Erma Bombeck, but about halfway through something clicked and I started liking the self that Zevin portrays. On the other hand, he has the kind of problems that really only afflict stay-at-home dads married to wealthy professionals who can afford nice minivans, nannies, gym memberships, and summer-long vacation house rentals. It's hard to work up much sympathy, especially when you just spent the weekend with your kid screaming at you because you are Not t ...more
Erik Dewey
Oct 01, 2013 rated it liked it
A fun book which had me chuckling a few times during the read, especially the hipster dad at the playground.

The writing style flows well and it's easy to identify with Dan and his total acceptance of the change his life has undergone with the birth of his kids. It does suffer a little too much from "Dad is an idiot" but it also has some tender moments and a fun dynamic with his wife.

Nothing deep or profound, but fun.
Joelle Anthony
Oct 20, 2013 rated it really liked it
I wasn't sure I was going to read this, but once I picked it up, I read it happily all the way through. Sometimes I think the pieces are a little too long, like he could've hit his point sooner, but for the most part, I really liked the depth he went to in each piece. They seemed heartfelt instead of just going for the laugh. Also, when his kids grow up and read this, they're going to be given a real gift...seeing how much he loves them.
Darin
Feb 17, 2013 rated it it was ok
This book is lucky it got two stars. It was pretty much everything that annoys me about New York writers...they think they're hipsters, and they think that they have the ability to give anecdotes about parenting, but they really don't know anything beyond upper-middle class New York parenting, which means that they don't really know much of anything. I guess if you live in Manhattan, you might like this book. Everyone else ought to stay away.
Martin
Dec 13, 2012 rated it really liked it
What a find. I came across this while browsing through some Amazon book ads. The cover grabbed me. Interesting design. Anyway, Mr. Zevin's sense of humor is a cross between Dave Barry's ludicrous-everyday-existence observations and Jim Brewer's my-wife-life-kids-and-family-are-nutballs details. Not every chapter is a winner, as he does try different styles to keep the reader's interest. But the winners? Oh my gosh, they're so-funny-I-doubled-over winners. Gotta read the rest of his books...
Walter Bowne
Mar 02, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Ok. I relate to this guy way too much. I too had a minivan. I'm also from New Jersey. I too spent many days at the playground with hipster aloof dads. I also wore a baby backpack. I'm also a writer and I like to think I'm a funny guy (walterbowne.com) so there were many times I'm laughing at loud. The stuff about his mother was funny. It definitely deserved to be on the list for best humor from last year. Well done.
Darren Price
Nov 12, 2013 rated it really liked it
I quite enjoyed this. I actually listened to it as an audiobook, and I really dislike audiobooks. Listened while on a long drive, (returning from Florida in our new minivan) and it held my attention. As a part-time and wannabe stay-at-home dad, lots of the stories I found funny and very relevant. It definitely has something of a New York-centric bent to it, but its fairly clear that it is going to from the beginning.
Laurie Lichtenstein
Sep 18, 2012 rated it liked it
A humorist who is now a stay at home Dad, Dan Zevin's book of essays describe how life changes after kids. Although some are better than others, this is a fun read, and easy to pick up if you don't have a lot of time. He definitely speaks to the universal struggles of raising young kids without being too sentimental. I think he could have gotten into some of the more hilarious antics of his kids, though.
AJ
Jul 18, 2012 rated it really liked it
I thought this book was very entertaining. The author is compared to Dave Barry and David Sedaris, both of whom I really enjoy. Although, I would say he is a mixture of the two. He has the more subtle humor of David Sedaris, without all the major dysfunction, and the funny observations on boring life and parenthood of Dave Barry.

I greatly look forward to reading his other books, and hope he will write more!

Recommend it!
Suka
Jul 10, 2013 rated it liked it
I always like these Dave Barry / Irma Bombeck type books, funny takes on everyday events. We all have little stories like this, but very few have the talent or time or inclination to put them down on paper. Some people can tell you about a crazy little thing that happened to them or a personal "aha!" moment and have you giggling or laughing until you cry. Dan Zevin is one of them.
Kelly
Apr 07, 2016 rated it it was ok
A humorist attempting to write humor. How original. It wasn't funny, at all. I didn't laugh at any point during his random ramblings about daddy hood and privileged life sketches. A whole chapter was devoted to reading excerpts from his post acl surgery diary. What's the point? didn't bother finishing.
Brad Larsen
Nov 24, 2012 rated it liked it
Somewhere between liked and really liked. Author is witty, anecdotes are funny. Just a little bit too much of a culture clash between Brooklyn and the NoDak for me to have a belly laugh experience. For example--not being able to find a parking spot by a restaurant on a date night is not something I ever think about. Love the title though :)
Christopher Litsinger
cute; not terribly great.
I probably would have enjoyed this more if I lived in Brooklyn or was Jewish, but it did occasionally make me laugh out loud.
best quote:
When it’s Pete’s turn to share, here’s all he says: “We spent the first few years trying to fit the kids into our lives, so now it’s our turn to fit into theirs.”
I find this sentence profound.
Stephanie
Jul 19, 2014 rated it really liked it
I listened to the audiobook, which I recommend. It's basically like reality TV in audiobook form. Entertaining, and it's nice to hear a dad talk about parenting struggles that one usually hears about from moms.
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Dan Zevin is the author of Dan Gets a Minivan: Life at the Intersection of Dude and Dad, coming in May from Scribner. His previous book, The Day I Turned Uncool: Confessions of a Reluctant Grownup, was optioned by Adam Sandler’s Happy Madison Productions. A finalist for the Thurber Prize for American Humor, Dan has followed his readers through each phase of life, from post-college coping (Entry-Le ...more
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