Most helpful critical review
28 of 36 people found the following review helpful
Snarky, Fun Satire also has its own Message
on December 9, 2009
I don't know enough about comedy to know what it represents or how to "name" it, but Beckwith's book fits neatly with that genre of comedy that has exploded in the past ten or fifteen years (maybe beginning with Seinfeld?). Her book is part satire of parenting guide books, part pop culture criticism and at the same time is ultimately both a work of pop culture and a parenting book.
Like TV hits surfing Seinfeld's irreverent comedic wake (Bored to Death, Always Sunny, Arrested Development), Beckwith places you in an alternate universe that looks and feels very much like the "real world" with a two-way mirror through which she and the reader can gawk in amusement and make no end of snarky observations.
Like those shows, a lot of the time it works. But, ultimately the question is how much can you take? Like a conversation with that ceaselessly sarcastic friend for whom everything is turned on its head to become a joke, it can grow a little tiresome. For that reason, the book is best read in snatches.
That snark fatigue factor and the limited scope of interest (Hipster yuppies with youngish children are the sweet spot) do not take away from the fact that overall this is a very entertaining book, but it does knock it down to a three star for me -- though one I would strongly recommend. I bought several copies as gifts for couple friends of ours who are beginning to have children.