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Daddy Needs a Drink: An Irreverent Look at Parenting from a Dad Who Truly Loves His Kids-- Even When They're Driving Him Nuts Hardcover – April 25, 2006


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Delacorte Press (April 25, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0385339259
  • ISBN-13: 978-0385339254
  • Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 6.4 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (49 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,800,940 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Though he entering an already crowded field of pithy family essayists, Wilder's first book still resonates as an idiosyncratic charmer, avoiding the easy jokes for more carefully calculated wit. The familiar perils of parenthood-diaper changing, sleepless nights, inappropriate early words-are enumerated with an easygoing prose style that is consistently clever without ever trying too hard. Wilder is at his best when he ventures slightly farther afield from the standard set-pieces of the genre, such as in the show-stopping piece "Blood on the Tracks," in which he attends a music class for his son taught by a psychotic woman named Judith. Wilder perfectly conveys the nightmarish situation, recalling with escalating anxiety the rhyming couplets in which the teacher sings all of her instructions ("Repeating notes in such location / Is called proper audiation").. Unfortunately, the collection of 33 essays can get repetitive, and also suffers from the disjointed chronology that sometimes plagues works such as these. Nevertheless, Wilder deserves praise for his humor-especially his deadpan and appropriately dispatched profanity-as well as for the well rendered portraits of his worrying wife Lala and his two children.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Review

"Wilder's collection is spiced with sharp-eyed but never cruel observations of kids' befuddling behavior and hilarious scatology…. His love for his family comes through without ever seeming cloying…. Capture[s] the absurdity and joy to be found in the most important job a man can do."—Los Angeles Times

“Robert Wilder’s hilarious and boldly candid essays about the realities of parenting go down like gin and tonic on a hot summer afternoon.”—People

"More profane, more ironic and at times more touching than a whole stack of well-meaning child-rearing manuals....Even if your husband or father or brother isn't much of a reader, Daddy Needs a Drink would be sure to make him laugh."—Cleveland Plain Dealer

More About the Author

Robert Wilder was born on Long Island but raised with his three brothers in Westport, Connecticut, a country block away from Martha Stewart. He has worked as a gas station attendant, dishwasher, factory worker, landscape grunt, grass cutter, lackey, busboy, waiter, concession stand clerk, housepainter, soccer camp director, dog show researcher, fundraiser, and advertising executive. He now lives in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

Robert Wilder is the author of two critically acclaimed books of essays: Tales From The Teachers' Lounge and Daddy Needs a Drink. He has published essays in Newsweek, Details, Salon, Parenting, Creative Nonfiction, Working Mother and numerous anthologies. He has been a commentator for NPR's Morning Edition, the Madeleine Brand Show, On Point and other national and regional radio programs including the Daddy Needs a Drink Minute which aired weekly on KBAC FM. Wilder's column, also titled "Daddy Needs A Drink," was printed monthly in the Santa Fe Reporter for close to a decade. He was awarded the inaugural 2009 Innovations in Reading Prize by the National Book Foundation. Wilder lives and teaches in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Visit his website at www.robertwilder.com.

Customer Reviews

Robert Wilder is a very witty and funny writer.
J. Duplantis
I had never laughed out loud from book previous to picking up Robert Wilder's first book.
C. Johnson
I highly recommend this book to anyone who has kids in their life.
Michele G. Bettinger

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

15 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Rachel Kramer Bussel VINE VOICE on October 9, 2006
Format: Hardcover
Daddy Needs a Drink is a delightful peek into Robert Wilder's child-filled life, highlighting the ridiculous charm of his kids, Poppy and London, and the daily dilemmas and lessons parenting has taught him. From the first few pre-pregnancy tales, one of which involves listening in to his neighbors' dalliances via baby monitor, through his kids' adventures and misadventures, Wilder proves that he's laughing at himself most of all.

More than just "cute kid stories," Wilder explores the ways teaching his children right from wrong can often be unsettling for other adults, such as when his son decides to say the word "pussy" at many an inopportune time (not to mention "hipple") or teaching him about dwarfs ("dwarps" in London-speak). He explores his son's addiction to his nuzzies (blanket lint) and their attempts to wean him off of them.

Wilder also has an eye for the hypocrisy of other parents and teachers, pointing out their excesses and eccentricities. On the beach, he describes sitting near "High-Maintenance Mom" while he makes sand mermaids for his kids. When High-Maintenance Mom's daughter comes over to see what the fuss is about, Wilder writes: "The little girl left her mom and wandered over to what must have seemed like more fun than an outdoor office where your boss ignores you." No matter how much he may roll his eyes at certain parenting conventions, Wilder will never be the kind of dad who blatantly ignores his kids.

And, while humorous, Wilder exhibits a vulnerability that's refreshingly honest, most notably when he shares a crying bout upon observing his daughter on the playground.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Stefanie Taylor on June 18, 2006
Format: Hardcover
As a fellow author, and a new mom, I read this book thinking I'd find a dad who doesn't really get it but that it might be humorous. Well, I was wrong. He totally gets it every bit as much as the bored stay at home moms I know. If you don't laugh at the chapter entitled "Pussy" you probably don't have a pulse which means you have bigger problems than what book to buy. I definitely recommend this book to all dads who want to see that other dads know what you're going through. Good luck out there!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Jennifer Guevara on May 15, 2006
Format: Hardcover
I'm not going to lie...I am not done with the book, YET! But in a wierd way, I don't want to finish it. I want it to keep on going...I want it to always be there, to crack me up with its unique and witty writing style. I want it to be there to make me laugh so loud, I startle my dog. I want to keep reading the funny accounts of Mr. Wilder's life...the parts that make me laugh even when I'm not reading...when I am walking around the mall, or sitting at the teacher's lounge eating lunch. Everyone says, "What are you laughing about?". I say, "Read the book!"

Trust me people, its HILARIOUS! You won't want it to end :)
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By J. Beach-Ferrara on May 26, 2006
Format: Hardcover
Hilarious, closely-observed, refreshingly honest, moving in unexpected ways. The book deftly avoids the saccharine territory of so many books about parenting and just nails the strange, important details of domestic life. "Crying in America," a triptych of essays, is at the book's heart and ought to be shared widely.

In short, a great read and one I'm passing along to people of all stripes - men, women, those who parent, those who have been parented.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Jean Leyshon on May 21, 2006
Format: Hardcover
Wilder's book is funny, not clever-sarcastic-funny, but the kind of funny that happens when you look closely at life the way it really happens. It's also a brave and generous book--he gives us an intimate look at his life as an truly engaged father, all sides, not just the funny stuff. I can't wait for his next book to come out!
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Andy Atkins on June 1, 2006
Format: Hardcover
Great book! I thoroughly enjoyed it - laughing out loud too many times to count! I bought another copy for my brother and his wife, who just had their first child 2 months ago. They agreed that "Daddy Needs a Drink" is better, and certainly more comical and realistic, than all the "how to raise a kid" books in circulation!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Adele on June 14, 2006
Format: Hardcover
Daddy needs a drink is by turns sarcastic, endearing, and true-to-life. Not being a parent myself (maybe in a few years...) I don't quite relate to the situations, but my mother assures me she can see herself in many of Wilder's anecdotes. Whether you're a parent or not, this is a sweet and funny account of living in Santa Fe and being a dad. It's witty and quick enough for those of us who read often, but is also a good choice for those who don't, because it IS quick, and keeps things moving for readers with short attention spans.

Highly recommended!
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Trent on December 13, 2006
Format: Hardcover
If you are a parent or wanting to be a parent, you should definitely read this book by Robert Wilder. It is a collection of his memories as a father, from the first time he changed his daughter in an Olive Garden Restaurant men's room, to having worn a snowman suit called Frosty and baking in his own fart and stench just to get the love of his daughter. Wilder also narrates the frustrations of being a parent and drastically looking at it in a very side splitting and hilarious way. If you want a book that will make you "pee-in-your-pants-laugh-out-loud-kind" of way and if you want to see the different lengths parents will do to get their children's love, this is the book to read. You will also find in this book how a family friend reacts when his 3 year old son drops the "F-BOMB word", or when a 6 year old girl asks Wilder, "Daddy, what is rape?", and a kid's question on why the sky is blue followed by who, what where and when interrogations. Although this book is about parenting and children, Wilder's language is on the rated R range, which I think is a very effective tool for the adult readers to find amusing, not to mention one chapter that has rated R dialouges with.
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