Industrial-Sized Deals Best Books of the Month Shop Women's Handbags Learn more nav_sap_plcc_6M_fly_beacon Deradoorian Storm Fire TV Stick Find the Best Purina Pro Plan for Your Pet Shop Popular Services Home Theater Setup Plumbing Services Assembly Services Shop all tmnt tmnt tmnt  Amazon Echo Fire HD 6 Kindle Voyage The Walking Dead\ Gear Up for Football Deal of the Day
Lamentations of the Father: Essays and over one million other books are available for Amazon Kindle. Learn more
Buy Used
Condition: Used: Good
Comment: Eligible for Amazon's FREE Super Saver/Prime Shipping, 24/7 Customer Service, and package tracking. 100% Satisfaction Guarantee. Ex-Library. Former library book. Dust jacket in Has dustjacket condition.
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See this image

Lamentations of the Father: Essays Hardcover – April 29, 2008

15 customer reviews

See all 6 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price New from Used from
"Please retry"
"Please retry"
$1.30 $0.01
Unknown Binding
"Please retry"

Best Books of the Year So Far
Best Books of the Year So Far
Looking for something great to read? Browse our editors' picks for 2015's Best Books of the Year So Far in fiction, nonfiction, mysteries, children's books, and much more.

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Accomplished social satirist Frazier's latest collection reminds us why the novelist and essayist is one of America's funniest living writers. The much-quoted title piece, originally published in the Atlantic Monthly, gives voice to every parent's battle with table manners, bath time and various laws, statutes and ordinances concerning biting (don't), sand (not edible) and pets (not to be taped). Equally entertaining are Frazier's self-declared role as spokesman for crows, complete with slogan (Crows: We Want to Be Your Only Birdâ„¢) and his mock exposé on the truth behind history's most famous phrases. Caesar's I came, I saw, I conquered is, according to Frazier, simply an early example of mankind's obsession with the sound bite, a snappier version of: I came, I saw, I conquered, I had a snack, I took a bath, and I went to bed, because I was exhausted. A treat for Frazier fanatics and new readers alike, this compilation from the past 13 years has nary a misstep and begs to be read in one sitting. Researchers, Frazier says, have determined that life is too hard. But it's easier with Frazier at the helm. (May)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


Ian Frazier is an antidote for the blues. (The Boston Globe)

Being a funny guy doesn't always mesh with being a smart guy. In Frazier's case, however, the two seem one and the same. (The Christian Science Monitor)

Warning . . . reading [Frazier's essays] in the bathroom, on the subway, or in other heavy-traffic areas may force you to have to explain to others what's making you guffaw so loudly. (Entertainment Weekly)

America's greatest essayist. (The Los Angeles Times)

Frazier is a master of the trade and for those cursed with literacy, an absolute howl. (The Buffalo News)

Hilarious . . . [Frazier's] sense of humor is so uncanny and surprising it's nearly impossible not to be charmed. Highly entertaining. (Kirkus Reviews) --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

See all Editorial Reviews

Best Books of the Month
Best Books of the Month
Want to know our Editors' picks for the best books of the month? Browse Best Books of the Month, featuring our favorite new books in more than a dozen categories.

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux; First Edition edition (April 29, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0374281629
  • ISBN-13: 978-0374281625
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 0.8 x 8.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,116,540 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Related Media

More About the Author

Ian Frazier is the author of Great Plains, The Fish's Eye, On the Rez, and Family, as well as Coyote v. Acme and Dating Your Mom, all published by FSG. A frequent contributor to The New Yorker, he lives in Montclair, New Jersey.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

16 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Lynn Harnett VINE VOICE on May 27, 2008
Format: Hardcover
As serious as he is funny, Frazier can deconstruct the historical accuracy of Daffy Duck with the same straight-faced relish he uses to savage corporate crooks and the "innovative thinking" of the Bush administration.

While his politics are definitely left leaning, he skewers pomposity, dogmatism and the babble of popular culture wherever it strikes his fancy - which is just about anywhere, from techno-thriller movies to the mythic figures of our time (like Russell Crowe), from the sound bite to guide book drivel, from the latest in scientific research to the ordinary family.

Especially the family. The book's funniest piece - in the sense of laugh-out-loud humor rather than fiendishly clever satire - is the title piece, "Lamentations of the Father." Published in 1997 when his children were small, it begins:

"Of the beasts of the field, and of the fishes of the sea and of all foods that are acceptable in my sight you may eat, but not in the living room."

And, from "What I Am," inspired by an accident of dishwasher loading in which his wife calls him an "idiot" and he objects, not to the characterization so much as the terminology: "Quite simply, `idiot' is not a nice word to call somebody, and I find myself asking, as Mr. Welch did of Senator Joseph McCarthy, `Have you no sense of decency, sir?' "

"The Cursing Mommy Cookbook" and "The Cursing Mommy Christmas" start out with Martha Stewart decorum and quickly, hysterically, devolve into familiar domestic chaos.

Others take a more quirky view - the tribulations of the absent expectant (maybe) father; the earnest murderer's family aspirations; coming of age among the right-wing militia.

Frazier started out as a staff writer for "The New Yorker" in the 70s and it shows.
Read more ›
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
9 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Jesse Kornbluth TOP 1000 REVIEWER on June 11, 2008
Format: Hardcover
How does a man become a murderer?

Not the kind of question you and I ask ourselves, but Ian Frazier has thought deeply. Done the homework. And, in "He, The Murderer", he reports back:

On an aptitude test, "Murderer" was the category he scored highest in. By then, he'd already murdered a couple of guys, just fooling around. He kind of liked it. One thing led to another.

It's not all roses, this business of killing people. For one thing:

Now he wishes he'd murdered more people when he was younger. You reach the age of forty, forty-five, and you can't react like you used to when you were twenty.

For another:

Everybody's got his hand out these days, wanting a favor. "Hey, Ronnie, can you murder my nephew?" "Ronnie, my man, if you got a second, could you murder the head of the Plumbers and Contractors Union?" "Yo, Uncle Ronnie, how about doing a little murdering for us, pro bono?" Like always, friends and family take advantage.

To no one's surprise, he wants better for the next generation:

He is determined that his son will not have to murder people when he gets big, and will be able to make a good living simply by injuring them.

And then....but you see what happens. You start reading an Ian Frazier piece, and the next thing you know you're quoting him to anyone in your zip code, and pretty soon you're reading the whole piece aloud. And this happens time after time, because on a good day there is no one better at smart-funny than Ian Frazier.

"Kisses All Around", for example, is letters of premature acknowledgment. The Pope's representative thanks Martin Luther for the 95 theses: "It's on the table next to his bed, and he will certainly get to it soon.
Read more ›
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By bronx book nerd VINE VOICE on October 2, 2008
Format: Hardcover
Lamentations of the Father is a hysterical collection of humor pieces. Frazier takes common experiences and deftly turns them into laugh riots. More literary in many ways than someone like Dave Barry, Frazier applies his smarts to subjects that you wouldn't think could be turned into humor, like how to operate a shower curtain. His parody of rap verses by substituting rappers with classic poets is incredibly funny, as are virtually all the pieces. My only criticisms: one piece on cursing mommy was sufficient; the murderer piece I actually fouind a bit disturbing. Nevertheless, if you want to laugh a lot, if you are married and have children, if you want to see a clever mind at play, read this book.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
5 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Christopher Grant on July 21, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I think the title essay is hilarious, and I've given several copies of the hardbound version of that individual essay as gifts. The collection under review has a few other essays ("If Memory Doesn't Serve", "Kid Court", "What I Am") of the same general nature, not quite up to the level of "Lamentations of the Father" but still quite funny and insightful.

If all of the essays were like that, I would have rated this book 4 stars. Most of them, however, are different, somewhat like a lengthy elaboration on a Jack Handy quote, somewhat like an above-average example of an article from The Onion. I thought these were so-so; something about them just didn't click for me. Your mileage may vary.

And then there a few (like the "Cursing Mommy" ones) that seem to be based on the premise that offensive things are intrinsically funny. Certainly, Frazier isn't the only humorist who seems to feel that way, but I don't, and there's no way I could give this book as a gift to those in the (prudish, puritanical, call them whatever you want) circles I run in.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again

Most Recent Customer Reviews

What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?