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821 of 856 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A father and son's love knows no boundaries. Four letter words yes, boundaries no., May 5, 2010
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This review is from: Sh*t My Dad Says (Hardcover)
Reading Justin Halpern's book brought back memories of my own father's words of wisdom. Although my father (a southern gentleman by birth) was somewhat more prudent in his use of curse words and references to sex, he never hesitated in telling his children (or anyone else for that matter) exactly what was on his mind. I remember when I introduced him to my first really serious girlfriend, a young woman who was more than a foot shorter than myself. He took me aside and said, "What's the matter, didn't they have one in your size?" However, when we later announced our engagement he was the first to congratulate us and brought out the bottle of Cold Duck that he was saving for such an occasion.

When the author was 28 years old he was suddenly dumped by his girlfriend and needed a place to live when he made the decision to move back in with his mother and his then retired father. Working from his new "home" as a writer for Maxim Magazine gave him the time (an awful lot of time according to the author) to see his father through new, adult eyes. The terror that he had felt in his youth due to his father's "bluntness" began to be replaced by admiration for the only person that he had ever known who really spoke his mind without self-censorship. It was only then that he began to see the wisdom in his father's tersely worded observations and began posting them on his Twitter page with the same title as this book.

Because Mr. Halpern Sr. has the gift of being able to "swear with great expertise" I can't quote many of them on Amazon, but here are a few of my favorite PG rated quips:

ON THE DEATH OF OUR FIRST DOG
He was a good dog. Your brother is pretty broken up about it, so go easy on him. He had a nice last moment with Brownie before the vet tossed him in the garbage.

ON MY BLOODY NOSE
What happened? Did somebody punch you in the face?!... The what? The air is dry? Do me a favor and tell people you got punched in the face.

ON THE MEDICINAL EFFECT OF BACON
You worry too much. Eat some bacon... What? No, I got no idea if it'll make you feel better, I just made too much bacon.

ON SHOPPING FOR PRESENTS FOR HIS BIRTHDAY
If it's not bourbon or sweatpants, it's going in the garbage... No, don't get creative. Now is not a creative time. Now is a bourbon and sweatpants time.

ON BEING ONE WITH THE WILDERNESS
I'm not sure you can call that roughing it son... Well, for one, there was a (EXPLETIVE) minivan parked forty feet from your sleeping bags.

ON SILENCE
I just want silence... Jesus, it doesn't mean I don't like you. It just means right now, I like silence more.

If you grew up with a Ward Cleaver type of father (or wish that you did) you may find Mr. Halpern's way of expressing himself to be crude, unfeeling, or even uncaring. Far from it. The author augments the pithy quotes (some recent, other's from his childhood) with brief essays that gives the reader a little more of the back story of this unique father-and-son relationship. Is it ideal? I have learned that, for me at least, the best way to judge someone's parenting is by the adult it produces. Justin Halpern's book reads to me as a love letter to a father that always tells it like it is and who made you who you are.

My father passed away at age 87 in 2008. At his wake (we are Irish after all so alcohol was involved) his former co-workers, friends and family paid tribute to him by telling our own little stories and quotes from a man who could be described as both taciturn and brutally honest. The recollections from my three brothers, my sons and myself included stories and things that my dad said that to the outside observer might have also seemed acerbic or even caustic, but to us it was the way that he showed us that he cared

This book is not for those addicted to a PC idea of what a father should be or for those who are easily offended by real life conversation. But if you, like me, value frank and seemingly brutal honesty (especially from someone who brought you into this world) this book will delight you as much as it has me. I only wish that I could give this to my dad for Father's Day. He would have laughed his (BLEEP) off!
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Tracked by 7 customers

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Showing 1-10 of 30 posts in this discussion
Initial post: May 8, 2010 11:09:32 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Sep 23, 2010 2:06:30 PM PDT
Alex Ong says:
Thank you so much Timothy - Sorry to hear about your Dad! I lost mine to a sudden massive heart attack on Sept. 1st of 2006 (at age 65); a day before my birthday. If I knew what I now know, Dad could still be with us or at least be with us for an extra day - Love you Dad! Alex - All because of Dad - He is my inspiration!

In reply to an earlier post on May 8, 2010 11:35:24 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on May 9, 2010 12:00:52 PM PDT
Hi Alex,

Sorry to hear about your father, 65 is so young. I am glad that my review meant something to you. Thanks so much for your comment!

Tim

In reply to an earlier post on May 9, 2010 4:16:53 PM PDT
Alex Ong says:
You are most welcome Timothy! Dad had given me everything and had never asked for anything back. It was the craving of not having him for an extra day that inspired me to turn my years of yo-yo dieting notes into a natural health book to help others live healthier and longer. Thanks Again & Best Wishes To You & Your Family, Alex & Family

Posted on May 14, 2010 11:39:25 AM PDT
Kristi Ryan says:
Great review! Loved your stories about your own dad - especially the one about "girlfriend in your size?" - I'm 5'0 (on a good day and that made me laugh out loud.) Looking fwd to reading this book now!

In reply to an earlier post on May 14, 2010 12:37:02 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on May 20, 2010 7:43:33 AM PDT
Hi Kristi,

I am really happy that you enjoyed my review. My ex-wife (and current friend) is just a hair shorter than 5 feet tall and I'm 6'3". My dad used to refer to us as "Mutt and Jeff".

I hope that you get as much out of this book as much as I did!

Tim

Posted on May 14, 2010 1:44:07 PM PDT
D. Figueroa says:
Your review made me decide to buy this book. My sympathies on the loss of your father. Mine passed last August at the age of 84. Your remark about Irish wakes really hit home :D

Our family was what my maternal grandmother referred to as 'shanty Irish', so enormous quantities of alchohol were de rigeur at any wake.

In reply to an earlier post on May 14, 2010 4:19:05 PM PDT
Hi D Figueroa,

Sorry to hear about your father. It's going on two years since my dad passed away and I still miss him every day. I am sure that you feel the same way.

Yep, shanty here too (although my mother claims some "lace-curtain" Irish heritage on her side).

I hope that enjoy this little book as much as I did!

Tim

Posted on May 18, 2010 3:13:05 PM PDT
a reader says:
Just wanted to say thank you to Timothy for such a great review! After reading your words, I went right out during my lunch break and bought 2 copies - one for my dad and one for my husband (because he'll be "that" type of dad before he knows it...).

In reply to an earlier post on May 18, 2010 8:56:37 PM PDT
Hi a reader,

Thanks so much for the kind compliment and for your comments, I really got a kick out of them. I am sure that the books will be a hit with both your father and your husband!

In reply to an earlier post on May 19, 2010 8:17:33 AM PDT
Susan Caba says:
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Timothy B. Riley
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Location: San Antonio, TX USA

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