Ah, parenting. The butt of jokes, complaints, and articles in those tabloid magazines you find at the grocery store checkout aisle. There are countless lists, advice columns, and books on how-to, how-not-to, why-to, and "why-the-hell-would-you-even-think-you-could-handle-this-don't-you-dare-have-children"-to.
And then, then there is Jim Gaffigan. Actor, comedian, and now author. Oh, and also father of an ever-growing-in-number brood of youngsters. Last year, he released his first book on what it's like throwing all those roles together. Before you even open the book, you know that it will be a raw, honest, and undeniably tongue-in-cheek evaluation of parenthood.
The title? Dad Is Fat.
Gaffigan's career as a comedian is largely what bolsters this book to the worthy-of-being-read ranks. Filled to the brim with occasionally borderline-preachy musings on parenthood and smattered with amusing enough anecdotes about his kids, Gaffigan's ability to twist a tongue and turn what would have been an otherwise unremarkable passage into a barb of dry (yet juicily self-deprecating) wit. Gaffigan is a superb comedian - but largely a verbal one. His comedy routine requires facial expression and body language, real-time inflection and glinting eyes to deliver its full punch. The full force of Gaffigan's humor often feels a little muted or understated in his book.
But maybe he's just being quiet because he doesn't want to wake the baby...
Who knows. All in all, I'd say if you have spare time and are looking for a dose of parent-child humor, there's no detriment to picking up Jim Gaffigan's Dad Is Fat. If you're more pressed for time or financial resources, there are sharper buys for your purchasing power. Just go and follow Gaffigan on Twitter and Youtube instead.
So, I give Dad Is Fat 4 out of 5 stars. I'd prefer to give it 3.5, but half-star rating isn't an option for us reviewers here at Examiner, and I feel knocking Jim's book all the way down to the 3 star level isn't entirely fair. So there you have it, a 3.5-star rating masquerading as a 4.
Meh, that's probably how Jim would describe himself anyway.