- Shopping Bag ( 0 items )
Posted February 13, 2013
Neal Pollack¿s expedition into parenting is the subject matter
Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Neal Pollack’s expedition into parenting is the subject matter in this alternately hilarious and seriously introspective look at what it’s like to raise a child in today’s progressive and politically correct world. Pollack takes his readers on a ride through the learning curve of adulthood as it merges with parenthood. His insights, his struggles and his conclusions are what formulate this very real look at what it’s ultimately like to raise a kid in the early 21st Century.
Within Pollack’s book, the primary message that exists is the necessity for parents to raise their children in a manner that is convergent with whom they are as parents. However, entering into marriage and ultimately parenthood forces compromise on both the individual -- Pollack, in this case -- and his spouse, Regina. A music enthusiast, and freelance writer who more than dabbles in marijuana use, Pollack’s desire to remain relatively “hip” is compromised by a necessity to provide an income for his family and an obligation to fatherhood. Pollack perseveres through some self-indulgent behavior to ultimately grasp the best way parenting works for him, his wife and their son. Pollack is proud of the decisions he and his wife make in regard to Elijah’s upbringing, and this helps support the unstated assertion that parents need to select a path that honors who they are as individuals, and who they are as a couple, while maintaining the focus on raising a child within these parameters.
Pollack’s writing style is fluid, easy-to-read and downright amusing. He has the storytelling ability to intermingle real-life stories with his candid and often crude commentary about the people involved. Often, Pollack presents a self-deprecating manner to his writing, and this allows readers – particularly those of us who are parents – to laugh at him as we inherently laugh at ourselves for making similar mistakes in our parenting. While Pollack’s humor is able to carry him through with something resembling grace, the book does digress significantly at times. Some of the stories he tells drag on for pages, and some do not deliver the humorous effect he seeks. Also, some of the decisions he makes as a father are deplorable. That said, it is hard to like everything I do in my own parenting, so it is even more difficult to be judgmental as an outsider looking from a distance at his choices.
Certainly, we all make our own choices as parents, but Pollack’s book is worthwhile just for the abundance of laughs it provides. The missteps of parenting are humorous, if not in the present than certainly in retrospect. And Pollack is able to laugh at himself throughout. I have had the pleasure of reading another Pollack non-fiction book in Stretch: The Unlikely Making of a Yoga Dude, and it is written in a similar manner and style as Alternadad. They are both good selections. However, Jewball, a fictional take on a real piece of American history is my favorite Pollack book.