The smudge looked suspicious. The doctor confirmed: "That's the baby's penis!" Joel's reaction? Pure panic. "I pictured having to go camping and fix a car and use a hammer and throw a football and watch professionals throw footballs and figure out whether to be sad or happy about the results of said football throwing." And so begins Joel's quest to confront his effete nature whether he likes it or not (he doesn't), by doing a 24-hour shift with LA firefighters, going hunting, rebuilding a house, enduring three days of basic training with the Marine Corps, and going into the ring with UFC Hall of Famer Randy Couture.
Seeking help from a panel of experts, including his manly father-in-law, a racecar driver, Boy Scouts, former NFL star Warren Sapp, and some celebrities, he expects to learn that masculinity is not defined by the size of his muscles but by the size of his heart. This is not at all what he learns.
©2012 Joel Stein (P)2012 Hachette Audio
"This is much more than a funny book, though it is that too. Beneath the humor is a wonderfully poignant exploration of the role of manliness for the 21st century urban guy. It's also a Father's Day love letter disguised as a set of adventure tales. Joel looks lovingly at both his crusty old dad and trusting infant son to reflect deeply on the lessons that we pass along from generation to generation. It made me laugh, and think, a lot." (Walter Isaacson, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Steve Jobs)
"Many of us men in the Western world struggle with this "forced manliness"- there is a lot of pressure. For some, it is a real struggle. I have seen Joel try to chew tobacco in an attempt to prove that estrogen does not imprison his body. Looking down at his lap and bashfully wiping the remnants of spilled tobacco off his J. Crew slacks did not help his cause. The fact that he laughed at it, though, did. He caught himself trying to be manly and laughed. That is a true man." (Zach Galifianakis)
"I am the father only of daughters, and so didn't suffer any existential midlife panic about discovering and demonstrating my latent manliness. But I am happy Joel did, because his infant son inspired him to report and write this rare and splendid thing: an open-minded, open-hearted, bracingly honest, laugh-out-loud-funny memoir that takes life just seriously enough." (Kurt Andersen, New York Times bestselling author of Heyday)
Avid reader with eclectic tastes - I know what I like!
The wry humor combined with the authors own narration.
Anything by A.J. Jacobs - they share an interest in expanding their horizons while limited by their own foibles.
The resolved intonation of his delivery and the admiration I felt at his willingness to poke fun at himself.
Joel: For man's sake, give dogs another chance!
I am always looking for something to listen to in the car when driving my teenage son around (because then we don't argue about the music playing on the radio) and this book certainly kept the peace for a good many days. I think it was also helpful for my son to hear about someone who is a dad who is even goofier than his own dad. The story certainly had us laughing out loud and it was terrific to hear the book read by the author. We stopped the recording more than a few times to have discussions about the different things he tried in order to "find his manliness." Other than the "blue" language, I would recommend this book for anyone with a male in their household. After the book was done, my son recommended that his dad hear it next.
I'd read another of his books in print. I certainly won't listen to him narrate again.
I know this is a generational thing, but the narrator's uptalk style of speaking drove me up the wall -- to the point where I stopped listening to a book I'm sure I would have enjoyed reading very much. I can't believe the director/producer or whatever didn't stop the narration and tell the author to try speaking without the uptalk.
NOTE TO AUDIBLE NARRATORS AND PRODUCERS: A COMMA IS NOT A @#$%ING QUESTION MARK! The author reads like a Valley Girl talks. If I were writing out his narration and punctuating exactly as he speaks, we'd have sentences like these:
I know dogs go for walks?, but I thought that was a euphemism for going to the bathroom.
Soon after Joe got out of high school?, he spent ten years in prison for armed robbery.
He doesn't talk either?, but I think that's just what all super white men are like.
Though Ian will wear buttons on his shirt?, he mostly wears gear.
This is on every friggin' sentence that opens with a dependent clause. When a real, actual question comes along, my brain interprets it as another opening clause until I realize the sentence has ended. Oh, I see ... his voice rose in pitch there because it really and truly was a question this time. Well, too bad I can't distinguish questions from opening clauses just by listening to the narrator's voice.
Funny topic, well written. But the uptalk killed it for me. I finally couldn't stand it anymore and moved on to another book.
It is laugh out loud hilarious. I can't wait to have a passenger in my car to introduce them to Joel! Loved it! Am going on a trip and can't wait to play it again.
I think the author has a delivery which is better read than spoken. He knows he's funny, so he rushes through the funny lines .. they would be more effective in print than voice, or perhaps narrated by someone else.
Yes - I enjoyed the topic and the story.
Not terrible, so if his material was only available read by the author, I would consider it.
I enjoyed the book on the whole. I was a little disappointed with some of the lewd points of view of the author, but then again, that's real, that's him, so ... I wasn't offended just wasn't anticipating that type of commentary. (I suppose there was an assumption on my part that sex-talk wasn't going to enter into a book about what the author wanted to impart to his pre-born son). Anyway, decent "read".
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