Quite funny, and slight--which is not a snipe but a statement of fact. I loved these short, ragged essays the first time I read (the bulk of) them at Slate
, and it was nice to see the rough arc across them.
Lewis is consistently funny--and not just because kids testing out profanities in shame-inducing contexts is funny, 'though we all could certainly stipulate that a sweet little child screaming some ungrammatical variant of "MOTHERFUCK" is invariably funny, unless it is your sweet little kid and you are in a grocery store, although it is particularly wonderful if it is your sweet little kid and it's a Whole Foods grocery store, full of the wealthy organic-food-eating, no-tv-watching, my-child-takes-yoga motherfucks who shop there. The essays make fun of the French, our rather pathetic (and Lewis argues true) assumptions about the half-assed work and role of American fathers, Lewis' own incompetence and vanity. And I read it in about 37 minutes. See above re slight. The guy can write, and he can be damned incisive--I was wishing for some more extensive examination of the ideas about how parenting is sold in America, how that image affects (afflicts?) so many of us in strange, unwanted, comic fashion... debunking myths and conventional wisdom (as he so consistently, wonderfully does in his books on economics, politics, and sports). But it wasn't that kind of thing. It came out a couple weeks shy of Father's day, so I think I can assert that it's more of a quick buck than a new Lewis book, but it's also five thousand times better than a Dan Brown paperback or a tie, both of which make me choke.