Prim readers are given fair warning to duck and cover!
The title of Justin Halpern's new book, Sh*t My Dad Says, well, it says it all. Justin's dad says it over and over again, along with the F bomb in all its verb tenses, so you get the idea of this short, pungent and funny memoir.
The book categorizes a lifetime of Sam Halpern's comments into brief chapters illustrating how he handled episodes in his son's life. Chapters like Justin's cheating on a school science experiment, not wanting to share a bedroom with Grampa, and asking endless, stupid questions are all covered with a story and a series of pithy vulgarisms by dad. For example, on the topic of young Justin asking dumb hypothetical questions, his dad responded, "No. There's no scenario where I'd eat a human being, so you can stop making them up and asking me, understood? Jesus, is this how you spend your day, just coming up with this (expletive?)" You might not expect that dad is actually a doctor of nuclear medicine, but Sam Halpern tells it like he sees it to his son, and it is often painfully funny and blunt.
It is interesting to note that what started out as Justin Halpern's daily Twitter feed about his father evolved into this, his first book. In a similar fashion, books like Waiter Rant and A Homemade Life developed out of their authors' blogs. This demonstrates to me that social media (blogging and tweeting) do not necessarily take readers away from books. Rather, they seem to be providing publishers with a whole new treasure trove of material.
Review by Evelyn Fischel