Dan Gets a Minivan: Life at the Intersection of Dude and Dad

Dan Gets a Minivan: Life at the Intersection of Dude and Dad

4.7 9
by Dan Zevin
     
 

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A coming-of-middle-age tale told with warmth and wit, Dan Gets a Minivan provides the one thing every parent really needs: comic relief. Whether you’re a dude, a dad, or someone who’s married to either, fasten your seat belt and prepare to crack up.

The least hip citizen of Brooklyn, Dan Zevin has a working wife, two small children, a…  See more details below

Overview

A coming-of-middle-age tale told with warmth and wit, Dan Gets a Minivan provides the one thing every parent really needs: comic relief. Whether you’re a dude, a dad, or someone who’s married to either, fasten your seat belt and prepare to crack up.

The least hip citizen of Brooklyn, Dan Zevin has a working wife, two small children, a mother who visits each week to “help,” and an obese Labrador mutt who prefers to be driven rather than walked. How he got to this point is a bit of a blur. There was a wedding, and then there was a puppy. A home was purchased in New England. A wife was promoted and transferred to New York. A town house. A new baby boy. A new baby girl. A stay-at-home dad was born. A prescription for Xanax was filled. Gray hairs appeared; gray hairs fell out. Six years passed in six seconds. And then came the minivan.

Dan Zevin, master of “Seinfeld-ian nothingness” (Time), is trying his best to make the transition from couplehood to familyhood. Acclimating to the adult-oriented lifestyle has never been his strong suit, and this slice-of-midlife story chronicles the whole hilarious journey—from instituting date night to joining Costco; from touring Disneyland to recovering from knee surgery; from losing ambition to gaining perspective. Where it’s all heading is anyone’s guess, but, for Dan, suburbia’s calling—and his minivan has GPS.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
The latest in a slew of books on fatherhood, Zevin offers the latest installment of his ongoing memoirs about having to be an adult (The Day I Turned Uncool: Confessions of a Reluctant Grown-Up). In a book that lacks the humor of his previous books, Zevin seems unaware of how unbelievably smug he sounds as he recounts the travails of moving his wife and two children from a neighborhood of “impossibly cool Brooklyn families” to one of suburban bliss: “big yard, two-car garage, and a neighborhood playground.” This leads him to fill his memoir with vaguely updated observations on topics that were old when they first described life in 1950s suburbia: “Here’s what date night is... the goal is to stay awake in each other’s presence.” But he sometimes does have a way of making trivial and mundane insights into a deep spiritual experience that demands to be shared with others. In one chapter, Zevin finds himself berating an “Aloof Hipster Dad” to accept that the hip attitude doesn’t hide that “ou’re just in over your head like the rest of us.” (May)
From the Publisher
“Dan Zevin yanks the car seats and the sippy cups out of that minivan and sticks a blow Hemi dragster engine back there—I mean in his prose style. In his lifestyle it's, um . . . a different matter.” —P.J. O’Rourke

"It’s a book about a regular guy taking his first tentative, sometimes scary steps toward being a fully formed adult, and it is always funny and sometimes laugh-out-loud hilarious.... Highly recommended to fans of Barry, Roy Blount, and Bill Geist." —Booklist

USA Today
“This is the funniest book about parenting I've read in a long, long time. Dan Zevin is a major talent. I want to kill him." —Dave Barry“Dave Barry has made a career of writing about Dave Barry. P.J. O'Rourke writes about P.J. O'Rourke. And David Sedaris writes about David Sedaris and the strange Sedaris clan into which he was born. You could throw Zevin in with any of them and he would hold his own. He might even float to the top.”
Forward
"Zevin is a poster boy for egalitarian — even feminist — fatherhood. But at the same time, he presents himself as a loving goof-off: a guy who’s picked the most enjoyable option — parenting — over working a high-powered, full-time job…With nods to Woody Allen and Larry David, Zevin has forged a persona of half-dorky (yet all-devoted) Jewish dad that’s endearing.”
Boston Globe
"Zevin, in the grand tradition of humorists, has made the most of his failures...What elevates his work above mere irreverence is the quality of insight he brings to relatively familiar terrain."
People
“Zevin is one hilarious house-husband—like Seinfeld for the stay-at-home-dad set. Raise a sippy cup and cheer him on.”
People Magazine
“Zevin is one hilarious house-husband—like Seinfeld for the stay-at-home-dad set. Raise a sippy cup and cheer him on.”

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781451656145
Publisher:
Scribner
Publication date:
05/22/2012
Sold by:
SIMON & SCHUSTER
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
240
Sales rank:
635,798
File size:
3 MB

What People are saying about this

From the Publisher
“Dan Zevin yanks the car seats and the sippy cups out of that minivan and sticks a blow Hemi dragster engine back there—I mean in his prose style. In his lifestyle it's, um . . . a different matter.” —P.J. O’Rourke

"It’s a book about a regular guy taking his first tentative, sometimes scary steps toward being a fully formed adult, and it is always funny and sometimes laugh-out-loud hilarious.... Highly recommended to fans of Barry, Roy Blount, and Bill Geist." —Booklist

Meet the Author

Dan Zevin's latest book Dan Gets a Minivan: Life at the Intersection of Dude and Dad (Scribner) is the winner of the 2013 Thurber Prize for American Humor. Dan has followed his readers through each phase of life, from post-college coping (Entry-Level Life) to tying the knot (The Nearly-wed Handbook) to developing a disturbing new interest in lawn care and wine tastings (The Day I Turned Uncool: Confessions of a Reluctant Grownup).

Dan has been a comic correspondent for National Public Radio's WBUR, the humor columnist for Boston Magazine and the Boston Phoenix, and a contributor to national publications including Rolling Stone, Details, The NewYorker.com, Real Simple, and Parents. His last two books, Dan Gets a Minivan and The Day I Turned Uncool, have been optioned by Adam Sandler's Happy Madison Productions.

Dan lives with his wife, kids, and pet rabbit in the suburbs of New York, where he has become an active member of his local Costco.

Visit his personal site, at DanZevin.com, or his Facebook fan page, at Facebook.com/pages/Dan-Zevin/160838183983243

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Dan Gets a Minivan: Life at the Intersection of Dude and Dad 4.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 7 reviews.
phillyclyde More than 1 year ago
I stumbled onto Dan Zevin at a moment in time where I was beating myself up regularly. I grappled with “keeping it real” while acknowledging that I did like to out for a nice dinner over Taco Bell and I dreaded general admission concerts. Dan put everything into perspective in a humorous way which allowed me to sleep easier knowing that I wasn’t the only one with these personal inner-voice struggles. As someone deciding whether or not to take that next step in life and reproduce, Zevin’s new book Dan Gets a Minivan, couldn’t be more timely. I pre-ordered the book to assure its arrival on the earliest possible day. Once again, Zevin comes through. Dan Gets a Minivan demystifies a lot of questions that me and the wife have been struggling with. We repeated go through the same hypotheticals. Would we get a SUV or really get that minivan? How do you find a nanny? Is moving to the burbs “selling out”? Through great wit and observations, Dan Zevin provides the manual for the next step in my life. I guess it helps that we are in the same age demographic. He takes ownership of becoming a suburban dad and wears it like a badge of courage, letting the readers know all along the way that he hasn’t lost himself in parenthood. More so, he’s bettered himself. Zevin seems to provide handbooks for each stage of life from your first job out of college to parenthood. These should be mandatory reading at certain birthdays, perhaps the start of each decade 20’s, 30’s, etc. For me, this is money and time well spent. The kids, burbs, and aging joints seem less scary since reading Dan Gets a Minivan. I guess I only have a decade or so to wait for the next needed handbook—transitioning into the AARP. I only wish Zevin would’ve written an adolescent book because I could’ve definitely used a handbook for those ages. If these topics don’t interest ya, I’d say check it out if you happen enjoy laughing because Zevin is quite the funny guy.
SoccerDoll More than 1 year ago
My kids and I bought Dan Zevin’s hilarious book as a Father’s Day gift for my husband, who loved it. Being the primary minivan driver in the family, I thought I might like it too. I brought it along to my daughter’s soccer practice, and actually read it in my minivan while I waited for her! Now, I can’t wait for each kid’s next practice so I can read another chapter! Zevin’s book captures all the complications of family life with humor and understanding. My favorite chapter is “The Day I Turned into my Father,” which chronicles Dan’s life changing trip to Costco with his Dad. While Dan is drawn like a magnet to the cases of bottled water that he can’t really fit in his already crowded townhouse, he comes to understand his Dad and their relationship in a deeper way. Zevin’s book is filled with moments like this; when everyday experiences help us see the bigger picture of our lives.
Kenny1 More than 1 year ago
The easiest thing to say about "Dan Gets a Minivan - Life at the Intersection of Dude and Dad" is that it's funny. Because it is. Relentlessly so. But, just as importantly, it is intelligent, sensitive and amazingly perceptive. A parent who has had their lives in any way transformed after creating little haywire facsimiles of themselves will not help but recognize their own journey at some point in this book. Where most parent-humorists (especially men) clamber to portray themselves as incapable klutzes; Dan demonstrates a stay-at-home dad can be as hysterical and smart as he is competent.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
As a 25 year old with lives in a city with no wife and no kids, ‘Dan Gets A Minivan’ made me far less weary about being an ‘adult.’ Chapter 1 (My Cup Holders Runneth Over) put a smile on my face that lasted till the end of the book. His descriptions of instances, like the time when he dropped his iPhone in his dogs you know what while being handed a ticket in the park, are side splitting (Chapter 2; Every Dog Has His Day (In Court)). Zevin also does a great job of using humor while describing the more intimate and touching moments in his life, such as his interactions with his father at Costco. Zevin writes about how he learns a lot from his father and strives to be the same kind of person. ‘Dan Gets A Minivan’ is a must read.
thetravelingwilbury More than 1 year ago
After reading this book, I am far less wary of commitment, the suburbs, Disneyland, children, and yes, minivans. I love how the author normalizes all of these things for those of us who are skeptical, and makes them seem (gasp) appealing, even. There are these parts that are really insightful about what it means to grow a little older and reassess priorities, but because of how endlessly hilarious the book is (I particularly like the section about the author's epic and life-changing trip to CostCo. with his father) it never feels heavy-handed, and I was definitely rooting for the author to come to terms with all of his life changes (and in some ways, coming to terms with my own life changes while I read along). This is a book I will be giving to just about everyone I know who has kids--and even a bunch who don't, but who appreciate good writing, good humor, and a tour of what seems to be the Cadillac of minivans.
MoiraB1 More than 1 year ago
In a testament to this book's addictive hilarity, on this glorious spring morning, I chose to forgo my easy 15-minute bike ride to work in favor of a 30-minute stinking rush-hour subway commute so I could cram in a few more pages. Seriously can't put it down. It's side-splitting, and also comforting and humanizing about all the minor and not-so-minor humiliations of aging and parenting and things just not ending up as you imagined they would when you were 25 (and clueless). Despite the author's insistance that he no longer gives a sh*t (Chapter 3), the book is evidence of a thoughtful, observant and wonderfully cheeky mind. Read it now!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Once I picked it up, I couldn't put it down. Zevin posses an uncanny ability to find the humor in every day life. The descriptions of his interactions with the 'Aloof Hipster Dad' and with people in the city clerks office paint a great picture for the reader. 'Dan Gets A Minivan' has the ability to help it's reader find the humor in life. I would recommend this book to anyone going through the joys and challenges of fatherhood or anyone looking for an easy and entertaining read.