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Househusband Hardcover – April 16, 2002


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Ballantine Books; 1 edition (April 16, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0345451260
  • ISBN-13: 978-0345451262
  • Product Dimensions: 9.5 x 6.5 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (36 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,392,723 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

The premise of Ad Hudler's first novel, Househusband, is as simple as the book's title: narrator Linc Menner tells us all about adjusting to life as the primary caregiver to his 3-year-old daughter Violet. The pleasures the book yields are, however, surprisingly complex. There's a weird thrill in reading the trials of domesticity described by, well, a man. In the opening comic set piece, Linc prepares for a dinner party he's throwing for his wife Jo's boss. "Jo had said the house was already clean, that it wouldn't take much to get it ready for guests, but she doesn't understand these things. It wasn't dinner party clean." Hudler has a real knack for observing the inner workings of what is traditionally considered woman's work--he's not shy about devoting page space to dusting and nutrition and plant care. He also gets off some good, quiet social commentary: "There's a reason women read more than men. They get stuck in undesirable locales and situations more often--soccer fields, hospital rooms, bedsides--and a book helps pass the time." In the end, Hudler's book amounts to both a celebration of the art of homemaking and a lovely, funny way to pass the time. --Claire Dederer

From Publishers Weekly

The novel of feminist awakening is given an unexpected twist in Hudler's entertaining debut: its protagonist is a man. Lincoln Menner, once a California landscape designer, is now a stay-at-home dad who knows every creak and crevice of his huge suburban Rochester, N.Y., house. He is plagued by insecurities about wife Jo's high-profile job, three-year-old daughter Violet's schooling and development and his own wrestling with wanting and not wanting to be the perfect man to everyone. In a burst of self-pity, he contemplates his situation: "I felt as helpless as Amelia Earhart, alive on some island, reading a copy of Aviation Today that had washed up on the beach." Meanwhile, Linc's mother, Carol, a deferential wife who temporarily escapes her unimaginative car-salesman husband after stealing one of his own vehicles and driving off to explore the country and herself, provides an alternate voicing of desire and longing through her on-the-road e-mails to her son. The themes of career, family and power struggles between the sexes are prosaic, and the occasional recipes inserted into the text seem out of place, but Linc's plaintive observations about passing days alone and, finally, his self-acceptance, redeem his narrative. 5-city author tour.

Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc.


More About the Author

Ad Hudler is a fiction writer and luxury-hotel concierge. His humorous books, which have been featured on CNN, NPR, and in The New York Times, are big hits with reading groups because they examine the struggles in parenting and marriage. Hudler grew up in a five-generation newspaper family on the High Plains of eastern Colorado and now lives with his wife in Nashville. The Dallas Morning News has called his work "warm and engaging." The Omaha World-Herald called him "a master storyteller."

Customer Reviews

I loved this book from beginning to end.
Kiersten Dart
I think the author has a lot to work out in his personal life and that came out in the writing of this book.
E. Northrop
I loved them and couldnt wait to read the next one.
Tiajuana Neel

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 25, 2002
Format: Hardcover
I live in Las Vegas and am an avid reader of westerns, mob books, history of Las Vegas and war books. I guess you might refer to me as a macho sort of character even at sixty-four years of age. Getting to the book Househusband, a friend of ours and his wife gave us this book as a present, they are close friends of the authors parents. I told my wife, nice of them, but this looks like a book for you, but certainly not for me. My wife told me, as much as you read, you better read this one because you know who will ask you what you thought and you best know what you are talking about or your buddy will not be happy with you. I am so thankful my wife made that statement, as I then started reading the book, by the third chapter I was hooked. Some four hours later I finished the book, what a delightful and enjoyable book and even though it is fiction there is so much truth in it about todays world and role reversal and the love a macho father who made the decision to do what he felt best for his family. A must read for all women and the macho man who is not afraid of his other side.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By S. Wynne on June 26, 2002
Format: Hardcover
Having a 4-year-old child myself, it was fascinating to read about what I've been through the last few years, but from a male perspective. You can tell the author has lived this world of potty training, whipping together dinner fast and trying to keep up your self esteem in a world that measures people by job titles and career tracks. Add to that the gender issues and assumptions that we put on men and women, this novel has surprising depth while being very funny. I found myself examing my own knee-jerk reaction to househusbands, that they must be sponges who live off their high-earning wives. Yet I'd never think that of a housewife. Yikes, I'm a sexist and didn't know it!
On a lighter note, I just loved how he ended a number of chapters with a recipe for the dinner or lunch Linc had prepared in that chapter's scene. I have made the tortellini and the spring rolls and they are both easy and delicious.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Susan on May 23, 2002
Format: Hardcover
I bought this book thinking it was going to be a very sarcastic spoof on househusbands. Never did I expect it to have serious undertones.
Nevertheless, the book was thoroughly enjoyable and I read it in one sitting (I was down with the flu). The story revolves around Linc, who has just moved his family cross-country so that his wife can take a new position. He decides to settle his family into their new life and becomes a househusband.
Linc struggles with depression as he searches for a new balance in his life. He seems to seek some sort of control which he finds in domestic duties. Between running a perfect house, cooking gourmet meals and raising a perfect daughter, this guy is supermom!
Thoughtful and funny, the story is a good lesson in life change for all of us. By the way, the recipes in every chapter are scrumptious!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By A. Dorrance on December 3, 2004
Format: Hardcover
Don't read this if you either think only women can be homemakers or think housework is a snap. I think this book makes a lot of true points, about gender and about the unrecognized value of a homemaker, and I think the readers giving reviews are influenced by whether they agree with these points. However a good message doesn't necessarily make a good book. The points could have been made in a 5,000 word position paper. Or this story could have made a tight novella. But, despite the well-written prose, the situation is unchanged for most of the book: Linc is unhappy as a househusband despite the rewards, yet he's trapped. The book failed to engage me in whether he has an affair with his neighbor, or with what happens to his mother on the run, or how he will deal with an inadequate nanny. I enjoyed the individual scenes but overall the trip to the end took too long.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 16, 2002
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This marvelously funny tale of domestic role reversal throws new light on the roles everyone plays -- the career forger, the caregiver, the best friend, the neighbor. Even The Child is seen from a new angle. The writing energizes, entertains, enlightens and leaves the reader feeling better about the human race, especially the men portion of it. Despite the hilariously depicted foibles and neuroses of our hero Linc, he and his wife are decent, unselfish, intelligent folks trying to make the world a better place for each other and for their child. What a pleasure to read about these kinds of people for a change. What a pleasure to read writing with such descriptive zest. Can't wait for his next book!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Endi on April 24, 2002
Format: Hardcover
And I thought that the Nanny Diaries was an entertaining look at "parenting"? This book is for real and actually made me feel great about what I spend 16 hours a day doing. Hudler has a style and insight that made me want to agree out loud at what I was reading. This book was truly fun to read and I will absolutely pass it book along to friends. (After my husband is finished with it!)
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful By sasha mcmahon on May 26, 2002
Format: Hardcover
linc menner is a self-described househusband, a landscape architect to the stars who decides to stay at home with his three-year old, violet, while his wife takes a high profile job as the COO of a large rochester hospital. hudler's book outlines menner's foray into full-time parenting. cut off from all adult contact, he can chart the progress of time only by the growth of a passion flower plant. as he becomes more and more paranoid about his worth as a man and a husband, he also becomes more controlling about his "kingdom" - how violet is cared for, how the laundry is done, etc.
this book is certainly funny, but it also touches on deeper issues of gender roles, acceptance, and insecurity. there is also much mulling about food, and the book includes many of linc's recipes. i haven't tried any yet, but they tasted good in my mind.
i was pleasantly surprised by how cleanly this book is constructed, and how well hudler was able to expose linc's shortcomings while still keeping him likable. most impressive is the way that hudler develops linc, subtly but surely. this is light reading, but a more worthwhile book than most.
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