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By David Shear on 06-05-13
Rare combo of humor and honesty
I enjoy listening to memoirs occasionally because I expect them to bring a level of honesty that isn't found in other genres. Unfortunately though, that is often not the case. What makes this book so good is it's level of honesty. Joel's essays are funny, but also honest, almost raw, which is what makes them interesting. The fact that he reads it allows for moments where it really feels like he is sharing something very deep with the listener. Joel also does a nice job of mixing and matching the length, theme, and rhythm of the essays which makes this collection more enjoyable to listen to than most short story collections.
I enjoyed the stories about his children the most. Though at the end, I wondered about Cindy (I think it's Cindy), the twin girl that is rarely talked about. Will she be offended or thrilled that she wasn't represented as she gets older.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful
By TR Patmore on 06-21-13
Sour, Sweet, and Amazingly Complete
A collection of bittersweet, sometimes downright sad, sometimes laugh out loud funny, mostly charming true stories, this book is a collection of essays written by, and narrated by a single dad dealing with the trials, tribulations, and surprises of being a divorced parent. It was a much needed refreshment to listen to this audiobook. We've heard all about divorce, and single parenting from the perspective of the mothers, but listening to Schwartz' candid confessions about moving in with his parents, telling his kids about his intentions of remarriage, and sweet lessons with his son about grilling hot dogs, really tugged at my heartstrings. My only complaint has more to do with my own step-momma jealousy in regards to the utopian relationship Schwartz seems to be able to maintain with his ex-wife. Lots of us steppies could only wish we had a Baby Mama who wasn't interested in perpetuating gobs of drama. It was over too quickly, and left me wanting, and waiting for more. This would make a great gift for a newly divorced Dad, and especially a newly divorced Mom.
The narration is excellent, and appropriately done by the author himself, which lends a layer of authenticity to the stories. Highly recommended!