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Fathermucker: A Novel Paperback – October 4, 2011
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“Fierce and funny” (Washington Post)
“Fathermucker is witty, realistic, and charming, replete with a father’s genuine love for his family. An entertaining choice for book clubs members of both genders, particularly those with young children.” (Library Journal)
“This brilliantly insightful novel explores the trials of modern fatherhood through one hectic day... Littered with hilariously genuine anecdotes, parental pathos, and a hearty dose of pop culture, this clever, comic, and compassionate novel will appeal to fans of Jim Lindberg and Jonathan Evison.” (Booklist)
“A lively and keenly observed portrait of twenty-first century parenthood.” (Penthouse)
“All kinds of funny-raucously, wickedly, sweetly, saucily, surprisingly, profanely funny…a wonderful novel, capturing in a single manic day the helpless ache of parenthood and the ceaseless flood of popular culture.” (Jess Walter, author of The Financial Lives of the Poets)
From the Inside Flap
A screenwriter, fledgling freelancer, and stay-at-home dad of two, Josh Lansky has held everything together during his wife Stacy's week-long business trip--until this morning's playdate, when he finds out through the mommy grapevine that Stacy might be having an affair. What Josh needs is a break. He's not going to get one.
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Mr. Olear is hilarious, there is no dispute there, but the book delivers cleverness as well as the ability to make the reader laugh out loud.
This is the story of a stay at home father, who has had one optioned screenplay, continues to dream that the big money will come in some day but in the meantime, supports his wife''s career in which she makes the big bucks, enough to allow him to stay home with a 3 and 5-year-old.
The twist that the 5-year-old has Asperger Syndrome gives the story an edge, and the reader an understanding, to set this book apart from anything else out there. I got to live inside the head of a parent struggling with a child who has special needs and that was fascinating and enlightening.
Josh, the narrator, is real, brash, flawed, insecure, and sees his role with a healthy dose of humor that kept me reading until the end. Fathermucker is not a thriller, it's not a mystery, it's a character study of one man during a difficult time in his life and how he handles his role with hilarity and pluck.
If you are the parent of a young child, I highly recommend the book.
1. It's hilarious
2. The pacing is great; the book takes place in one day, but through that one day you get perfect insight into Josh's life.
3. It makes you questions yourself, as a parent or as a potential parent.
4. The pop culture references are ironic and appropriate.
5. The overarching problem, whether or not Josh's wife is cheating on him, alternates between the back of his mind and his central focus. This allows it to stay relevant while still allowing for other elements of the plot to be important.
6. I appreciated the focus on Aspergers, both in terms of the solid information provided and the way Josh coped.
7. The characters are great- both the main ones and the smaller (like the moms in the play group). I think the kids are written really well too- Maude is a little spitfire and Roland is endearing in his own right.
8. As someone without kids, I was pleased that he mocked the same things about parents as I do. And often he was poking fun at himself, showing up that even the coolest, hippest of us all change when we becomes mother and fathers.
9. The setting of New Paltz was different- personally I like crunchy little suburbia towns, as much as I hate to admit it.
10. The ending resolution is perfect.
We decided that there were several sections where the descriptions went on too long, and we just didn't care about what was being described.
The one area where the book excelled was in getting us all interested in the various forms of autism, and in particular the type of autism that his son had.
We spent most of the night discussing Asperger's Disease.