A guy’s guide to all that’s gross, humorous and surprising about fatherhood, from the perspective of a first-time dad.
Nespoli (Broken, 2010) considers himself an average guy: impulsive, adventure-seeking, oversexed, distractible and occasionally oblivious—especially when it comes to his spouse, whom he affectionately refers to as “The Bride.” When she announces that she’s pregnant, Nespoli suddenly stares down fatherhood, a role he thinks most men aren’t ever ready for. He navigates The Bride’s raging hormones, watches their bank account dwindle as they purchase useless baby items, and eventually meets his newborn son, Keller, whom he thinks looks like a lizard. A clueless Nespoli can’t help but wonder where the parenting guides are for men like him. Here he presents that very book, cultivated from his own hilarious and horrific experiences, including sleepless nights, diarrhea volcanoes and, most notably, the frustration of competing with his son for his wife’s affection and, specifically, her breasts. It eventually leads him to nickname Keller “The Suck Monster.” The book is full of dark humor, with no qualms about being blunt and crass about sex, marriage and scatological matters. Yet the author’s absurdist knack for overstatement makes some of the most offensive jokes and juvenile gags forgivable and even endearing. Underneath the frivolity are a remarkable sincerity and the trustworthy, progressive voice of experience. He offers new dads legitimate tips and advice, as well as commiseration about mistakes, sacrifices and morbid thoughts. The author’s numerous digressions may divert readers’ attention from the book’s stronger moments; with a little more focus, this memoir could have been the male equivalent to What to Expect When You’re Expecting. However, there’s plenty of laughs and frank, honest advice here to frighten, inform and entertain the average guy embracing fatherhood.
An engaging, if occasionally uneven, memoir of being a new parent.