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Assisted Loving: True Tales of Double Dating with My Dad Hardcover – May 27, 2008


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Harper; 1 edition (May 27, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0061374121
  • ISBN-13: 978-0061374128
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 1.1 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,452,599 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Morris, a writer for the New York Times, mixes humor and social commentary in this courageous book, revealing the bitter grief of his mother's death and the joyous re-emergence into life of Joe, his widowed father. Hapless and lacking in social graces, the author's 79-year-old father, a former New York judge for the state department of motor vehicles, loves off-color jokes and appreciates the late pop icon Dinah Shore. Morris, a lonely gay journalist, acts as senior adviser and moral chaperone to his dad's girlfriends, who include lovely Edie, low-carb Ann, nutty Rita, egghead Roz and serviceable Gracie. Never losing sight of the complex relationship between aging parents and adult children, the commitment-phobic son conquers some key intimacy issues to wade into a love affair with a man, while learning tolerance and openness from his father's juggling of female companions. Ultimately, the inspirational memoir captures all the needed laughs and emotions that go with love and life in the waning years of parent-child bonding. (June)
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Review

“The real love story here is between father and son. . . . A funny, good-hearted story.” (New York Times Book Review)

“Mercilessly funny.” (Vanity Fair)

“Funny...tender new memoir” (Time Out New York)

“Hilarious” (New York Post)

“Morris mixes humor and social commentary in this courageous book...Ultimately, the inspirational memoir captures all the needed laughs and emotions that go with love and life in the waning years of parent-child bonding.” (Publishers Weekly)

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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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4 star
17%
3 star
11%
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See all 18 customer reviews
Absolutely entertaining, witty and poignant.
C. L. Richardt
Get past the campy dust cover and you will enjoy a good summer read.
Cynthia D. Singer
Really, there's nothing quite so funny as someone else's parents.
Martha Frankel

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

18 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Rick Shaq Goldstein on June 1, 2008
Format: Hardcover
The author, Bob Morris's mother died in 2002 after suffering for ten years with a rare, debilitating blood condition. His Father Joe, is a seventy-nine-year-old retired lawyer and administrative law judge for the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles. He is also a little too slovenly for Bob's taste. Joe's house has bills, brochures, magazines, and toothpicks everywhere you look, along with rotting food in the refrigerator, and his car is a nuclear waste site, with everything from half-eaten sandwiches, old socks and who knows what else on the seats. Bob still carries inner anguish at the way his Dad would go about his normal life playing tennis, playing bridge, etc., while leaving his two sons with most of the "heavy-lifting" during his Mother's final years of suffering.

About a month after his Mother's passing, Bob and Joe go to visit his Mother's grave. The following single sentence is an absolute literary powerhouse: "WE SHIFT ON OUR FEET, A FATHER AND SON WITH EVERYTHING TO TALK ABOUT AND NOTHING TO SAY TO EACH OTHER." Sometime after, Joe tells his son he wants to start dating again. Bob is incredulous. After fifty years of marriage, with his Mom only gone for a little over a month, his seventy-nine year old Father wants to start dating? This activates and sets in motion all the uneasiness that Bob has internalized about his Father for years. AND THEN... his Dad asks him to help him pick out women. This might be the time to mention to potential readers that Bob is a forty-four-year-old gay man who has never had a successful relationship himself. Bob surmises that his Dad basically wants him to become a pimp for him! The author thinks about his Father to himself: "So how can he just go dismissing all of it now-all of that-after fifty years of marriage? Who knows?
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Debra Hamel VINE VOICE on September 13, 2008
Format: Hardcover
Bob Morris's father (not the guy on the book's cover!) is pushing eighty when Assisted Loving opens. He's a youthful eighty, though, and newly widowed, a retired traffic judge, so he's a hot commodity among senior singles. Not one to mourn over-much, he is ready only months after his wife of fifty-plus years died (in 2002) to start the search for a new mate. He enlists his son to help him, and the younger Morris chronicles his fathers re-emergence on the dating scenes of Palm Beach and New York. That's the plot of the book, but the dates merely serve as the framework onto which Morris packs a meatier story about his relationship with his father and about growing up. At book's end, Joe Morris remains the man he was at the beginning: happy-go-lucky, exasperating, utterly devoted to his son. It's Bob Morris who emerges from the experience a changed (to a degree) man.

It's difficult to like Bob Morris for the first third of his book. His father may be legitimately annoying--most parents are--but at forty-four the younger Morris still acts like a teenager around him: pouting and saying just the wrong thing and not having much patience for the eccentricities of an old man. Worse, Morris is a superficial, elitist jerk. He's embarrassed by his old neighborhood, turns up his nose at his father's kitsch. He's irritated that visits with his father take him away from his usual party-hopping. Morris's mother had been very ill for years before her death. Morris was disappointed during that period because she lost interest in her appearance. He was ashamed to be seen with a dying woman who wasn't fashionable: "It was hard, watching her in her hopelessness. It was even harder seeing her thin, bruised arms and neck because she dressed in the most unflattering T-shirts.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Sheryl K. Tepper on January 26, 2009
Format: Hardcover
I loved this book so much that I have given it as a gift to many friends. Everyone has a similar reaction....it's simply great! Once you start reading, it is impossible to put down. The premise is unusual; the words are lyrical. This book does not disappoint......it is warm and funny and poignant....and speaks to relationships that we can all understand.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Martha Frankel on May 30, 2008
Format: Hardcover
Really, there's nothing quite so funny as someone else's parents. And terrific writer Bob Morris does an amazing job telling the story of his father's search for a new wife and his own search for true love. THE perfect present for any father, or any son. Or any of the women who love them. Martha Frankel Hats & Eyeglasses: A Family Love Affair with Gambling
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Christine Schaeffer on May 30, 2008
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Every guilty son and daughter needs to read this book in order to get over their issues with Mom and Dad. It is a sweet, funny memoir that bridges the generation gap.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Gregg Alison Suchow on August 28, 2008
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I LOVED this book. It's written really well, but more than that..it's funny and makes you think about your own life...love...family...death.

I love the relationship that grew between this son and dad...and how the writer found his own love and life by being patient and accepting his dad's love and life.

I highly recommend this to anyone who has older parents and know that life doesn't stop when you are a senior citizen!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By C. L. Richardt on July 21, 2008
Format: Hardcover
Absolutely entertaining, witty and poignant. I work in the elder care field and was delighted by this account of an elderly gentleman's search for romance and yes nooky. Bob Morris tells the story of his father's romantic quests with humor and empathy. A must read for anyone with a single elderly parent or anyone who has hope for a geriatric dating life!
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