Your audiobook is waiting…

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 (133 ratings)

$14.95/month after 30 days. Cancel anytime.

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
    93
  • 4 Stars
    25
  • 3 Stars
    10
  • 2 Stars
    3
  • 1 Stars
    2

Performance

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    104
  • 4 Stars
    17
  • 3 Stars
    6
  • 2 Stars
    1
  • 1 Stars
    1

Story

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    86
  • 4 Stars
    26
  • 3 Stars
    11
  • 2 Stars
    4
  • 1 Stars
    2
Sort by:
  • 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.

2 of 2 people found this review 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 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Cindy H
  • Maryland United States
  • 05-13-19

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 of 1 people found this review 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 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • 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.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

so funny. i listened twice.

Backman is my new favorite author. Get all his books. You won't be sorry. This one is hilarious.

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

New parents should listen

Honest and fun listen. Great story. Most likely going to share this with my son.

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

I am a HUGE Backman fan...

I love Fredrick Backman and have read or listened to all of his books. I saw this one and pre-ordered it a month before the release. But I'm disappointed and sad to say so.
It felt like a teenage father was writing it based on the audio performance. The whole thing felt very amateur and new-writer ish. I know it was written for a child but it was not endearing enough. There were a few moments of Backman magic that shone through when he spoke of his wife toward the end. But overall it was not worth my time. Might mean the world to his son and wife but not likely going to be a hit from anyone else's standpoint.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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

a "laugh out loud" look into Backman's mind

Although I've read everything Fredrik Backman has written, often more than once, I hesitated to purchase this book wondering if I was interested in stories about raising his son. I found out it's an absolutely "laugh out loud" look at Backman's view of the world, stories wrapped around his son and wife. Parts of this book could be a stand up comedy routine written with wit, insight and stories of his life and those in it. Santino Fontana's reading of the story was perfection. He's the perfect reader for this story.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful