GOOD TALK, DAD by Bill Geist

GOOD TALK, DAD

The Birds and the Bees...and Other Conversations We Forgot to Have

KIRKUS REVIEW

Two veteran raconteurs face off to cover over four decades of family myths and legends.

Co-host of NBC’s Today 9 a.m. hour and MSNBC’s Morning Joe, Willie Geist (American Freak Show: The Completely Fabricated Stories of Our New National Treasures, 2010, etc.) joins his father, columnist and TV journalist Bill Geist (Way Off the Road: Discovering the Peculiar Charms of Small Town America, 2007, etc.) in canonizing both great and not-so-great moments in parenting and coming-of-age. The authors banter back and forth in their discussions of everything from a nonexistent father-son sex talk to Willie’s summer camp to coaching Little League. Then there are the tales of underage drinking, how to cook up a fake ID, the family’s Elvis cult and an uncle’s/brother’s pharmacopeia perfectly timed for special events. As in most families, there is one car handed down through the generations, in this case, a Jeep CJ-7. The authors interleave the chapters with sidebars entitled “Geist Date in History” that highlight small events that bear marking—e.g., the day Willie met Donald Trump. Willie also includes a previously published story about taking his daughter to a Columbia University football game. The Geist family, the authors note, often perform rites of passage late, so this book is a chance “to cover our father-son bases retroactively.” It’s clear most of these stories have been told countless times; they’re practiced and well-paced. However, new material about Bill’s Vietnam tour and his battle with Parkinson’s disease contain further revelations and have not been polished over the family dinner table. A strong father-son relationship shines through.

Heavy on bad-boy behavior and sports, the book should come with a six-pack of cheap beer. A quick read that is not for everyone.

Pub Date: May 20th, 2014
ISBN: 978-1-4555-4722-7
Page count: 320pp
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15th, 2014




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