Laura Elliott Monroe's Reviews > Sh*t My Dad Says

Sh*t My Dad Says by Justin Halpern
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's review
Feb 24, 2012

really liked it
Read in September, 2010

Pros: HILARIOUS! Surprisingly warm with lots of heart.
Cons: None.
The Bottom Line: This fast, funny, colourful read will leave you smiling.

I've been following Justin Halpern's Twitter account when it first made the Internet rounds, and very much enjoyed his dad's crass witticisms, life advice, and observances. When I saw that the younger Halpern had written a book based on his dad's sayings, I decided to grab the book.

In my head, I envisioned a 20-something dude being forced to endure the indignity of moving back in with his parents after a failed relationship. After all, that's what the Twitter account conveyed. I wasn't sure what to expect, as I'd only gotten snippets of the Halperns in 140 characters or less. What I got was a book with anecdotes that actually warmed the cockles. I wasn't expecting that. And I loved it.

There are seventeen short chronological stories of Halpern and his dad, the subjects of which being everything from his dad's failed (or not-so-failed, depending on how you look at it) attempt to coach Halpern's Little League team to large family gatherings to Halpern misbehaving on a lecture that his nuclear medicine-scientist dad was giving to Halpern breaking up with his girlfriend (the event that led him to move back in with his folks). The stories are very well-written, short, and VERY funny. They're also honest and in many cases raw, which is refreshing.

For those of you who love Halpern's "Twitticisms," never fear. In between the chapters are a page or two of the elder Halpern's Twitticisms on all differenct subjects.

If you can't tell already from the title, this book contains very salty language. F-bombs explode all over the pages, but it's never offensively raunchy. Usually it's Halpern's dad dropping the language, but it's also prevalent in other dialogue and narrative. I'm thinking that if you're reading this review, you've gotten past the title and this isn't going to be a problem with you.

Colorful language and descriptions of bodily functions notwithstanding, this book shows the love that Halpern's dad has for Halpern, and most especially Halpern's mother. Halpern's dad stands up for his family, his wife, and shows that regardless of how much he comes off as a curmudgeon, he truly cares about his family. In between the f-bombs, there are quite a few tender moments that make you smile.

Highly recommended as a fast, funny read with a lot of heart.

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