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'[Praise for Liar's Poker] As traders would say, this book is a buy' Financial Times '[Praise for Liar's Poker] Wickedly funny' Daily Express '[Praise for Liar's Poker] Read all about it: headlong greed, inarticulate obscenity, Animal House horseplay' Sunday Times '[Praise for Liar's Poker] An amazing book, readable, funny and mind-boggling' Punch --This text refers to the Paperback edition.
About the Author
Michael Lewis grew up in New Orleans and has degrees from Princeton and the London School of Economics. Formerly a bond salesman with Salomon Brothers, he is the author of the runaway international bestseller, Liar's Poker. He holds an adjunct professorship at the University of California – Berkeley’s journalism school and lives in Berkeley with his wife, Tabitha Soren.
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Top Customer Reviews
When parenthood was soon to be come a reality in the life of Lewis and his wife, Tabitha, they felt the need for one more go at being carefree and adventurous. So, before they were really settled in they decided to move to Paris for a while. That was an adventure in itself, but becoming a father was also an adventure for Lewis, a totally unexpected one. His thoughts anticipating the birth of their first child are expressed as follows, "Parenthood loomed. There was a time when I suspected this wouldn't have much effect on me. I figured that the chemical rush that attended new motherhood might get me off the hook--that Tabitha would happily embrace all the new unpleasant chores and I'd stop in from time to time to offer advice. She'd do the play-by-play; I'd do the color commentary. Five months into the pregnancy that illusion had been pretty well shattered by the anecdotal evidence. One friend with a truly amazing gift for getting out of things he did not want to do wrote to describe his own experience of fatherhood. "Remember that life you thought you had?" he wrote. "Guess what. It's not yours anymore."
How true those cautionary words turned out to be. Lew is no longer, as he put it, the breadwinner, a well known author, he is a "go-fer," third in command as it were, directly behind mother and child.
Fortunately for us he decided to chronicle the immediate happenings following the birth of each of the couple's three children - most laugh-provoking, all true.Read more ›
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
This is one of the funniest books I've read. It's a short book (I read it on a cross-country flight with plenty of time to spare) but it's hilarious. I was literally laughing out loud and had tears from laughing so hard a few times. Was it as interesting as the stories about football or baseball from The Blind Side or Moneyball? Probably not. Was it as entertaining or more? Absolutely.
Some of the other reviewers are put off because Lewis has a nanny or has had a very successful career. Does that bother me? No. Others think he whines. I disagree. He's telling funny stories. If you want to read some funny stories and can deal with (or enjoy) some sarcasm and wit along the way, you'll enjoy this book. If you will be upset because he has a nanny, then don't read the book.
This book is entertaining. It's funny. It's not a how to guide for parenting. I don't think he wrote it to gain sympathy for the challenges he's faced. He obviously enjoys writing, enjoys the income it provides for him and his family, enjoys sharing this with others, and enjoys entertaining. If you want to be entertained by some stories about his family, you'll enjoy it. If you are looking for an author to relate to and sympathize with, maybe this isn't for you.
Highly recommended for the entertainment and humor.
Unfortunately, Lewis has set such a high bar with his past books (Liar's Poker, Moneyball, and The Blind Side), that this loosely assembled patchwork of journal entries and Slate.com essays ends up being a total disappointment. It's kind of stunning to me that someone with his powers of both analysis and storytelling managed to say absolutely nothing interesting, provocative, or even amusing about being a father in this new age of fatherhood. Instead, he paints himself in the usual self-deprecating colors of progressive fatherhood -- ever the bumbling idiot, an object of dismissive scorn by his partner, etc. Almost every situation reads like a story one's already heard before, and his ambivalence about fatherhood will be familiar to, um, pretty much any male reader who's had a kid in the last ten years or so.
I guess some people might find this "frank" male perspective enlightening or refreshing, but as a fellow guy, I was mainly bored. Maybe I'm the wrong audience for this book -- after all, I was a stay-at-home dad for about ten months with our first child. It may be that his incredibly minor trials and tribulations end up sounding kind of whiny. Ultimately, I wish he could have found a fresh angle to take on the topic of parenting. For example, he knows a lot about incentives, he could have examined his own parenting through the lens of incentives (and arrived at a better version of the book Parentonomics). Or, as in Moneyball, he could have taken a look at the historically dominant paradigm of contemporary fathering and examined why that's undergone a dramatic shift in certain demographics (such as his) over the last ten years or so.
Like I said, I really like Michael Lewis' past books, but this one is a dud. Skip it and try out Michael Chabon's much funnier, provocative, and more emotionally compelling Manhood for Amateurs instead.
There is nothing new to learn in this collection of stories. Tired comedy from familiar anecdotes. Paul Reiser wrote a book about 10 years ago and it's similar but funnier. The ill-equipped Dad stumbling through the early years of childhood/parenthood is scorched earth in that it's been explored and exploited. This offers nothing new or no real insights. It's not even that humorous, just vanilla all the way through, I like vanilla but not in hard-back.
It's written well enough and because of that it lulled me into a pointless journey. The smugness of his celebrity as a writer really annoyed me. It's never spelled out but there's just this sense that fatherhood is an experiment and this memoir is just a literary exercise until something more interesting comes along. I'm just not invested in him as a character. I wonder why anyone close to him thought that this was worth publishing? Does his name and excellence in his craft make his personal life interesting? Not to me.
But, who am I? No one really. He wrote and finished a book, that alone is worth 2 stars. I think I got 400 points for spelling my name correctly on my SAT tests.
Maybe new Dads will like it and maybe I expected too much.
My advice, buy it used.