LIKE FATHER, LIKE SON by Hunter S. Fulghum


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 A collection of short, sometimes pungent essays from another Fulghum--this one thirtysomething and less inclined to moralizing. Hunter Fulghum is the son of Robert (All I Really Needed to Know I Learned in Kindergarten, 1988, etc.), who provides an introduction for this volume with a charming anecdote about Hunter as a youngster; but true to form, he can't resist incorporating a lesson: ``Christmas is where you look for it.'' Hunter echoes his father's style--making the most of the ordinary--but uses his observations to recall the surprises that awaited him as the father of Sarah, now eight years old, and Max, the terrorist-in-training, now five. Like more and more fathers, Hunter spent some time as the primary parent and views his children with the tolerance born of years of cleaning up bodily effluent, which he describes in more colorful and usually four-letter terms like ``barf.'' He reflects long and often on the differences between the two children and concludes--fearless of the PC police--that they must be gender- based: Sarah likes pink, stuffed animals, and games about relationships; Max likes clutter, Legos, and his tool kit. Other essays range from the frothy (a consideration of his wife's pots of cosmetic potions) through the provocative (a sharp critique of the men's back-to-the-woods movement) to the deeply felt (a homage to his stepfather, John, who launched Hunter into his career as an engineer). Also worthy of comment: barbecues, ant farms, and teaching economics in terms of the Big Mac Indicator, an inspired concept that puts the price of McDonald's Big Macs as the common denominator of world currencies. A knack for celebrating the mundane that is reminiscent of Erma Bombeck but, alas, nowhere near as funny. (Author tour)

Pub Date: May 21st, 1996
ISBN: 0-399-14142-1
Page count: 288pp
Publisher: Putnam
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15th, 1996


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