17/11/2010

"Night Of The Living Dad"

by Sam Delaney

I didn't mean to restrict myself to reading books with puns for titles, it just worked out like that. I found this in the library while I was supervising K & Z in the kids' section. There's a few shelves of books for adults - 1001 Baby Names You Must Use Before You Die, How To Realise Your Child's Inner Beethoven, that sort of thing - and this memoir was in there. I think it would more properly belong in "Biography" but actually it fits into that odd category of books that Danny Wallace and Dave Gorman have made their own: comedic but not comedy, travelling but not travelogue, biographical but not biography. It even has a quote from Danny Wallace on the front.

Sam Delaney - who, it turns out, is current editor of Heat magazine, not that I knew this until I started writing this review - writes about his experience of fatherhood, from the initial twinkle in his eye to about a year after the birth. The style is highly reminiscent of Danny Wallace (no wonder there's that quote on the front) but lacks the appealing naivety that makes books such as Yes Man or Friends Like These so enjoyable. Instead it has a more world-weary cynicism, which, while occasionally funny, I found rather repetitious towards the end of the book. That's not to say there isn't a whole host of immediately recognisable situations in the book though; maybe I just found it too close to home!

Overall, an interesting diversion but not a book I'd read again or particularly recommend to others.

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