Things My Son Needs to Know About the World

Narrated by: Santino Fontana
Length: 3 hrs and 10 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (276 ratings)

$14.95/month after 30 days. Cancel anytime.

OR
In Cart

Publisher's Summary

The number one New York Times best-selling author of A Man Called Ove shares an irresistible and moving collection of heartfelt, humorous essays about fatherhood, providing his newborn son with the perspective and tools he’ll need to make his way in the world.

Things My Son Needs to Know About the World collects the personal dispatches from the front lines of one of the most daunting experiences any man can experience: fatherhood. 

As he conveys his profound awe at experiencing all the “firsts” that fill him with wonder and catch him completely unprepared, Fredrik Backman doesn’t shy away from revealing his own false steps and fatherly flaws, tackling issues both great and small, from masculinity and midlife crises to practical jokes and poop. 

In between the sleep-deprived lows and wonderful highs, Backman takes a step back to share the true story of falling in love with a woman who is his complete opposite, and learning to live a life that revolves around the people you care about unconditionally. Alternating between humorous side notes and longer essays offering his son advice as he grows up and ventures out into the world, Backman relays the big and small lessons in life, including:

  • How to find the team to which you belong 
  • Why airports explain everything about religion and war
  • The reason starting a band is crucial to cultivating and keeping friendships
  • How to beat Monkey Island 3
  • Why, sometimes, a dad might hold on to his son’s hand just a little too tight

This is an irresistible and insightful collection, perfect for new parents and fans of Backman’s “unparalleled understanding of human nature” (Shelf Awareness). As he eloquently reminds us, “You can be whatever you want to be, but that’s nowhere near as important as knowing that you can be exactly who you are.”

©2019 Fredrik Backman (P)2019 Simon & Schuster
What members say
Average Customer Ratings
Overall
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    182
  • 4 Stars
    63
  • 3 Stars
    19
  • 2 Stars
    8
  • 1 Stars
    4
Performance
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    206
  • 4 Stars
    45
  • 3 Stars
    9
  • 2 Stars
    3
  • 1 Stars
    3
Story
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    167
  • 4 Stars
    62
  • 3 Stars
    23
  • 2 Stars
    7
  • 1 Stars
    6

Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Not my favorite Frederick Backman book

This was a sweet, poignant and often funny dedication to Frederic’s first child. I appreciated the heart but didn’t not find this book nearly as captivating as his others. Bear town series was electric, A Man Called Ove just so unique and fun, Britt Marie and My Grandmother both also unique and so moving. Some of my favorite books. This one was more mediocre.

4 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Hilarious love letter to his son.

Achingly touching in one moment and gut cramping funny the next. I would recommend this book to any parent of any age. Heck, anyone with a relationship or a sense of humor will enjoy this read. I will listen to this again and again, loved it.

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Not Ove

I loved A Man Called Ove. This was all right but not great. It’s like mild Dave Barry.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Both Hilarious and Heartwarming!

I laughed out loud and shed a few tears-I loved this book! Fredrik Backman never disappoints!

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

another great story by Fredrik Backman!

this book is funny, touching, and so true! I loved his insight into Parenthood. I only wish it were longer :-)

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

yeah its amazing

if you do anything this weekend reading this book should be it. Backman at his absolute best

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Funny and True<br />

Fredrick Backman nails it with every ounce of truth. Great for every Dad and Mom.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Loved This

This book was delightful and certainly can be applied to girls. I really enjoy Fredrik Backman’s writing.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Way funnier than I expected 🍺🦕 🍼🌭⚽️

Have been a big fan of this author since I read A Man Called Ove. I knew he had mad skills as a novelist, his characters are so well written you remember them years after finishing the books. This will be the fifth book of his I’ve read, but until this one I had no idea he could also bang out really excellent comedic essays. Not every essay in this collection is funny, but many are. His stories about his baby son, his adored wife, and his fits and starts as a new parent are personal, self deprecating, relatable, funny, and very well done.

As he teaches his son about the world he casts a broad net....dinosaurs, soccer, hotdogs, American wrestling, airports, bullies, IKEA, and why sometimes small singing plastic giraffes have to go live on a farm, all come into play. As does lack of sleep, sometimes lack of judgement, and some really weird food choices.

Give me time, it’s likely I will read every single book he writes. The narrator, who I believe recently won a Tony, did an outstanding job.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Another Great Book from Backman

He is the best author in a generation. You will laugh out loud and tear up on top of one another.