My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Sh*t My Dad Says is billed all over the net as hilarious, and now has its own TV spin off. I haven’t seen the TV show, but just having finished the book, I’m left wondering what all the cheering’s about. Justin Halpern has written a memoir about life with his father, a brilliant medical researcher who strangely expresses himself at home with the vocabulary of a frat boy. Take away all the instances of the f bomb, “bullsh*t”, and the references to “jer*ing off”, and this book could be one third shorter. It’s true that Dr. Halpern’s pithy exclamations contain, underneath the repetitive expletives, real grains of truth about how to live a decent life, but the vulgarity quickly palls and the genuine nuggets of true humor are sparse. It’s clear that father and son love each other in spite of their frequent clashes. The author is fortunate to have the colorful (and wise) Dr. Halpern as his father; like Julie Powell, who parleyed her blog, about cooking Julia Child’s recipes, into a movie, Justin Halpern’s Tweets have jump started a writing career that was previously moribund.