My rating: 4 of 5 stars
On Writing a Memoir Via Twitter:
A creative idea that is surprisingly well-executed. Halpern’s Twitter feed, Sh*t My Dad Says, is a great idea for a twitter feed in general, and translated well into this short memoir in particular. I was concerned upon picking this up that it would be just a listing of super-self-referrential quotes, but Halpern manages to dodge that by putting plenty of his own life-experience in. He gives context, and that is an added bonus.
On Reading This Book During a Little League Game
It was very meta. There’s a part where Halpern talks about his experiences in his own Little League.
And that was my favorite part, not only because I was on the stands at my son’s baseball game at the time, but because it showed Justin Halpern (the author) understanding, as an adult, what he did not as a child. Young Halpern doesn’t understand why he’s forced to practice with the smelly kid. His dad shows him, via a confrontation with another parent…which is still not uncommon in the world of youth sports…that the kid is a talented player with a rough life, and that you should look past appearances to find out the truth.
I also think that this is the whole point of this book: looking past appearances.
On the Point of This Book
There’s a lot of cursing–but if you pick up a book titled Sh*t My Dad Says and you’re not expecting that…well, I can’t help you.
However, the cursing is just the outward appearance.
The stories and quotes are about being yourself, learning from your mistakes, living an honest, straightforward life, and shooting for your dreams. Halpern’s dad, throughout all the cursing, all the lessons, obviously loves his kids. Justin Halpern is somewhat self-deprecating, which makes him come across a little slow, but it has to be that way, right? Otherwise his dad’s Words Of Wisdom wouldn’t ring like they should.
(And we inherently understand that Halpern’s lessons got through, right? If not, there wouldn’t be this book, the sitcom, etc. Gotta read between the lines, see past the appearances, and all….)
On the Author Working for Maxim.com
Jenny writes dark fiction that her mother hates. Her stories and essays have appeared in Across the Margin, Pantheon, Shimmer, Black Denim Lit, Skive, and others. When she’s not writing her own stuff, she’s reading mysteries for Criminal Element. When she’s not writing fiction or reviews, she’s writing/directing/performing/designing plays at Springs Ensemble Theatre.