Customer Reviews


134 Reviews
5 star:
 (70)
4 star:
 (37)
3 star:
 (14)
2 star:
 (6)
1 star:
 (7)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 

The most helpful favorable review
The most helpful critical review


92 of 101 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars If you're a dad, read this book.
I have often said that being a father is both the best thing and the hardest thing I've ever done. This book parlays much of this ideal in a humorous way that should appeal to both new and old father's alike. The introduction had me laughing uncontrollably to which my wife asked what got my goat and so I read to her the highlights. However, as I continued to read I...
Published on May 18, 2009 by Jeffrey T. Vogel

versus
26 of 29 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Lewis Fumbles
It's kind of interesting that two excellent Berkeley-based writers named Michael both happened to come out with a book of ruminations on modern fatherhood (and its corollary, manhood) within a few months of each other. Since we added a second child to our own household a few months ago, and I'm now on (unpaid) leave to take care of him for a few months, this struck me as...
Published on November 4, 2009 by A. Ross


‹ Previous | 1 214 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

92 of 101 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars If you're a dad, read this book., May 18, 2009
I have often said that being a father is both the best thing and the hardest thing I've ever done. This book parlays much of this ideal in a humorous way that should appeal to both new and old father's alike. The introduction had me laughing uncontrollably to which my wife asked what got my goat and so I read to her the highlights. However, as I continued to read I began to realize that women, or at least my wife, should avoid this book because it does delve into the male mindset enough to make me hide my copy for fear that my she might begin to see some of the absurdities of fatherhood. With that, every dad should read this book because it takes a very funny approach for many of the steps within early fatherhood (births, hospitals, children's minds, vasectomies, the woman who really runs the show, and so forth). As the father of three young children I keep thinking that one day I'll truly be appreciated by my wife and kids, but as Michael Lewis demonstrates, we are mere bystanders in our own lives. With this knowledge, I think the author points out with the birth of his son (Walker) that we get what we invest in our relationships and even though we are mentally and physically exhausted each day, we must find humor and strength for the fleeting time that is fatherhood.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


34 of 36 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hilarious - worth the quick read, June 10, 2009
By 
B. Johnson "Johnson" (Hermosa Beach, CA USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
First of all, I'm a huge fan of Michael Lewis. So be warned that I might be a little bit biased. I've read just about everything he's written - Moneyball, The Blind Side, Liar's Poker, Next, The New New Thing, his articles in Portfolio, etc. I really enjoy his style, humor, and the way he brings the human element into the stories he tells.

This is one of the funniest books I've read. It's a short book (I read it on a cross-country flight with plenty of time to spare) but it's hilarious. I was literally laughing out loud and had tears from laughing so hard a few times. Was it as interesting as the stories about football or baseball from The Blind Side or Moneyball? Probably not. Was it as entertaining or more? Absolutely.

Some of the other reviewers are put off because Lewis has a nanny or has had a very successful career. Does that bother me? No. Others think he whines. I disagree. He's telling funny stories. If you want to read some funny stories and can deal with (or enjoy) some sarcasm and wit along the way, you'll enjoy this book. If you will be upset because he has a nanny, then don't read the book.

This book is entertaining. It's funny. It's not a how to guide for parenting. I don't think he wrote it to gain sympathy for the challenges he's faced. He obviously enjoys writing, enjoys the income it provides for him and his family, enjoys sharing this with others, and enjoys entertaining. If you want to be entertained by some stories about his family, you'll enjoy it. If you are looking for an author to relate to and sympathize with, maybe this isn't for you.

Highly recommended for the entertainment and humor.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


26 of 29 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Lewis Fumbles, November 4, 2009
It's kind of interesting that two excellent Berkeley-based writers named Michael both happened to come out with a book of ruminations on modern fatherhood (and its corollary, manhood) within a few months of each other. Since we added a second child to our own household a few months ago, and I'm now on (unpaid) leave to take care of him for a few months, this struck me as a good time to check out what two writers I greatly respect have to say on my current profession. (The other book is Michael Chabon's Manhood for Amateurs). To a certain extent, both authors grapple with the state that Lewis articles in his introduction: "Obviously, we're in the midst of some long unhappy transition between the model of fatherhood as practiced by my father and some ideal model."

Unfortunately, Lewis has set such a high bar with his past books (Liar's Poker, Moneyball, and The Blind Side), that this loosely assembled patchwork of journal entries and Slate.com essays ends up being a total disappointment. It's kind of stunning to me that someone with his powers of both analysis and storytelling managed to say absolutely nothing interesting, provocative, or even amusing about being a father in this new age of fatherhood. Instead, he paints himself in the usual self-deprecating colors of progressive fatherhood -- ever the bumbling idiot, an object of dismissive scorn by his partner, etc. Almost every situation reads like a story one's already heard before, and his ambivalence about fatherhood will be familiar to, um, pretty much any male reader who's had a kid in the last ten years or so.

I guess some people might find this "frank" male perspective enlightening or refreshing, but as a fellow guy, I was mainly bored. Maybe I'm the wrong audience for this book -- after all, I was a stay-at-home dad for about ten months with our first child. It may be that his incredibly minor trials and tribulations end up sounding kind of whiny. Ultimately, I wish he could have found a fresh angle to take on the topic of parenting. For example, he knows a lot about incentives, he could have examined his own parenting through the lens of incentives (and arrived at a better version of the book Parentonomics). Or, as in Moneyball, he could have taken a look at the historically dominant paradigm of contemporary fathering and examined why that's undergone a dramatic shift in certain demographics (such as his) over the last ten years or so.

Like I said, I really like Michael Lewis' past books, but this one is a dud. Skip it and try out Michael Chabon's much funnier, provocative, and more emotionally compelling Manhood for Amateurs instead.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Should have been a magazine article., September 20, 2009
By 
D. Morrison (Los Angeles, CA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Why was this published in hardback?

There is nothing new to learn in this collection of stories. Tired comedy from familiar anecdotes. Paul Reiser wrote a book about 10 years ago and it's similar but funnier. The ill-equipped Dad stumbling through the early years of childhood/parenthood is scorched earth in that it's been explored and exploited. This offers nothing new or no real insights. It's not even that humorous, just vanilla all the way through, I like vanilla but not in hard-back.
It's written well enough and because of that it lulled me into a pointless journey. The smugness of his celebrity as a writer really annoyed me. It's never spelled out but there's just this sense that fatherhood is an experiment and this memoir is just a literary exercise until something more interesting comes along. I'm just not invested in him as a character. I wonder why anyone close to him thought that this was worth publishing? Does his name and excellence in his craft make his personal life interesting? Not to me.
But, who am I? No one really. He wrote and finished a book, that alone is worth 2 stars. I think I got 400 points for spelling my name correctly on my SAT tests.
Maybe new Dads will like it and maybe I expected too much.
My advice, buy it used.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


40 of 52 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Fun, but disappointing, June 1, 2009
By 
After reading this book, I was left with a nagging feeling of disappointment. Sure, this is a fun book to read with some memorable and amusing quotes, but it pales in comparison with Michael Lewis' other work (like The Blind Side, or even his memorable recent article on Iceland in Vanity Fair, see link below). There is very little research here, and one is left with a feeling of "is this all he has to say after raising three kids?" The book feels like a hastily-put-together compilation of short and loosely-related essays, a deadline-driven book. Perhaps my expectations are to blame here, and this could have been great as a New Yorker article (or if it had remained a series of Slate articles), but from a book I was expecting more: more Michaelinian insights, more Lewisian ideas, more substance, more lessons.

[...]
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


78 of 106 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars disappointment, June 1, 2009
I'm sad to say it, but this book has really changed my view of Michael Lewis. I loved "The Blind Side" and had high expectations, but this really disappointed me.

The description of this book makes it clear that Lewis was surprised by the challenges of fatherhood. This seems to be a sympathetic enough position. Unfortunately, the more I learned about his life, the harder a time I had sympathizing with him. For starters, he has a nanny. For most fathers, this is not an option and feeling sorry for someone who has a nanny and a successful career that allows him flexibility and time at home seems like a stretch. Secondly, and more surprisingly, he seems to feel that assisting his wife in parenting is an imposition, as if he has been asked to do something that is not appropriate for a man to do.

While I appreciate the sentiment that a lot of hard work goes into being a father, I have a difficult time relating to Lewis. He has financial security and a wife and nanny who do most of the work of raising his child.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Now I know what my husband is thinking, July 30, 2009
Don't believe the crummy reviewers--this is a good book by a talented writer. I'd give it 5 stars, but I'm stingy and reserve those only for my stuck-on-a-deserted island books. What I like about his writing style is that while it is clear and unfettered, it still retains a cadence that is pleasing to the ear. He throws in a few $10 words now and then, which is good because it offers a challenge. Content-wise I found myself laughing--how can you not crack up at his vasectomy story? The book reads very quickly and follows a natural trajectory. He is not a bad father; he's just a brutally honest one. I like that.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A pleasurable read but little depth, July 24, 2009
This book comes nowhere close to Lewis classics "Moneyball" or "The Blind Side," but I don't think it's setting out to one up his previous works. Lewis has simply collected his journal entries about fatherhood and composed a book out of them.

Lewis makes some interesting observations as he describes, child by child (first his oldest daughter, Dixie; then on to his second daughter and his son) his experiences and pivotal events that made him understand or even wonder at his role as their father.

As a father of four myself, I was able to identify with a lot of his experiences. What I most appreciated was his honesty. The fact that without sharing in the care giving of his children, a father has little innate connection with them. I've often lamented about my existential feelings as a father. How truly connected am I to them? Was I meant to be as connected as their mother is? Am I making the right decisions for my kids? Lewis has shared these experiences and helps me understand them through his shockingly, even self-deprecating observations.

Some of the stories he tells in the book are downright hilarious. While trying to read a few passages to my wife, I was laughing so hard I had to just hand her the book to let her read them. The fact that I've shared many of his experiences made me identify a lot with the stories. I had a son who had RSV, just as his did. I live in the Bay Area as Lewis does and I've been to a lot of the places he describes.

So the short of it is that this book does not stack up with his other great works, but if you're a father who often questions his role in the family or even one who's curious about how others approach the role, you should enjoy this book.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Episodes, July 2, 2009
By 
Michael Lewis cobbled together essays he did for Slate over the past few years, added a few more family anecdotes and published a book titled Home Game: An Accidental Guide to Fatherhood. Lewis' writing is lively and entertaining as he shares his personal experiences of being a father. Some of the funniest episodes are like ones that any parent might tell around a picnic or dinner table at an extended family gathering to the amusement of all. The paternal cluelessness Lewis exposes on these pages will be familiar to any wife and mother. Home Game is a breezy reading experience that can be read easily in bursts, separated by a chance to laugh, smirk, or dive into the pool.

Rating: Three-star (Recommended)
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fatherhood For Better and For Worse, January 10, 2010
By 
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
Described by Malcolm Gladwell as one of the greatest storytellers of our time, Michael Lewis, author of "The Blind Side" (yes, the same one as the movie), "Liar's Poker" and others writes of his daily experiences figuring out what it really means to be a dad in an age where parenting and gender roles have become blurred and confused. Lewis writes, "Obviously, we're in the midst of some long unhappy transition between the model of fatherhood as practiced by my father and some ideal model."

Like many dads, Lewis experienced a wide range of emotions after the birth of his first child, but what kept him awake at night was the glaring and seemingly shameful mismatch between what he thought he should be feeling towards his child and how he actually felt. This inner battle overshadowed other areas of his life and drove him to the pen. He explains,

"I began keeping a journal of my experience of fatherhood seven months after the birth of our first child. The reader will quickly see that I didn't set out to write about new fatherhood. I set out to write about Paris, but Paris was overshadowed by a seven-month-old baby. Most of what follows was written in the hazy, sleepless, and generally unpleasant first year after the birth of each of my three children."

One of the funniest books I've read in years, "Home Game" reveals the struggles and victories of Lewis the father, but more than just Lewis, it is a book of modern fathers everywhere. The tales contained in the book speak of intimacy, regret, love, awkwardness and the dirt that makes parenting crazy and beautiful.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


‹ Previous | 1 214 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

Details

Home Game: An Accidental Guide to Fatherhood
Home Game: An Accidental Guide to Fatherhood by Michael Lewis (Paperback - June 7, 2010)
Used & New from: $1.55
Add to wishlist See buying options
Search these reviews only
Send us feedback How can we make Amazon Customer Reviews better for you? Let us know here.