Sunday, August 29, 2010

Home Game, by Michael Lewis

Home Game:An Accidental Guide to Fatherhood, by Michael Lewis

Michael Lewis is a talented writer; both Moneyball and Liar’s Poker are well-written looks at complicated topics that are both informative and entertaining. Sadly, Home Game, his auto-biographical look at fatherhood, falls unexpectedly flat. Many of the anecdotes are quite funny; the story of his three-year-old girl cussing out a group of older boys at the top of her lungs in a public pool is hilarious. Unfortunately, many of the other bits come off as somewhat mean-spirited. “Memory loss is the key to human reproduction. If you remembered what new parenthood was actually like you wouldn’t go around lying to people about how wonderful it is, and you certainly wouldn’t ever do it twice.” If he feels this way about being a parent of a newborn, I’d hate to be around him when his kids hit their teen years!

When not cross with the world, Lewis comes off as somewhat sad. “The thing that most surprised me about fatherhood the first time around was how long it took before I felt about my child what I was expected to feel. Clutching Quinn after she exited the womb, I was able to generate tenderness and a bit of theoretical affection, but after that, for a good six weeks, the best I could manage was detached amusement. The worst was hatred.” I simply can’t relate to this sentiment, and find it horribly unfathomable. The birth of each of my boys are moments in my past I treasure, right up there with seeing my bride standing at the back of the church on our wedding day.

A quick read with some funny stories, but overall this was disappointing.

First Sentence:
We landed at Charles de Gaulle Airport a couple of days before Christmas.

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