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Family Man
     

Family Man

5.0 1
by Calvin Trillin
 

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Calvin Trillin begins his wise and charming ruminations on family by stating the sum total of his child-rearing advice: "Try to get one that doesn't spit up. Otherwise, you're on your own." Suspicious of any child-rearing theories beyond "Your children are either the center of your life or they're not," Trillin has clearly reveled in the role of family man.

Overview

Calvin Trillin begins his wise and charming ruminations on family by stating the sum total of his child-rearing advice: "Try to get one that doesn't spit up. Otherwise, you're on your own." Suspicious of any child-rearing theories beyond "Your children are either the center of your life or they're not," Trillin has clearly reveled in the role of family man. Acknowledging the special perils to the privacy of people living with a writer who occasionally remarks, "I hope you're not under the impression that what you just said was off the record," Trillin deals with the subject of family in a way that is loving, honest, and wildly funny.

Editorial Reviews

Christopher Lehmann-Haupt
[Trillin's] timing and delivery are perfect. He doesn't ring an off-key note. -- The New York Times
Adam Woog
A short celebration of the wonderfulness of family life . . . genial, generous and unstoppably wry. -- The Seattle Times
Dwight Garner
What you take away from Family Man are the dependable joys of Trillin's prose-those clean, wry, perfectly constructed sentences -and his bedrock sense of what parenthood is all about. -- Newsday
Diane Johnson
Trilling's charming essays present a loving, idealized, funny view of parenthood, a hindsight look which transforms with humor the most anxious occasions, for instance when you hear too late that you should have talked to your infant during those vital first few months. -- New York Review of Books
Suzanne Berne
Calvin Trillin comprehends the exuberance of exasperation precisely....Though he styles hyimself a master of complaint, he's truly the master of appreciation, in whose hands a hamburger can become a divine object. It's hard to think of another writer who so consistently manages to be acerbic without being mean, a literary Houdini act that has won Trillin legions of readers. -- New York Times Book Review
Library Journal
For readers whose nerves are being shattered by all the feuds that are occurring in the human zoo in which we live and are willing to admit frankly that they'd like a little escapist reading, this book should be welcome. Those familiar with Trillin's (Messages from My Father, LJ 5/1/96) columns for Time and his poems in the Nation needn't be told that he can write with ease and spirit upon almost any subject. In this collection of 16 essays, he demonstrates once again that he thoroughly understands the difficult technique of clever light writing and that he can make a silk purse out of such routine merchandise as zipping and unzipping a snowsuit, changing diapers, celebrating Halloween, and eating Thanksgiving dinner--the plain things and everyday events of domestic life. Witty, spontaneously humorous at times, deliciously whimsical at others, and always kindly, Trillin's talk-fest offers a wonderful distraction. Recommended.--A.J. Anderson, GSLIS, Simmons Coll., Boston
Jonathan Yardley
Calvin Trillin is like an old shoe. Whatever he may be writing about, he always makes you want to slip in to it and get comfy…few tricks are more difficult for the journalist to pull off.
&$151;The Washington Post
Kirkus Reviews
Trillin (Messages from My Father; Too Soon to Tell), ace reporter and effortless humorist that he is, turns to a decidedly domestic theme, luxorious and lovingly parental, in the latest of his score of entertaining texts. As it must to all funny men and women, family life becomes the subject of his easy jocularity. Trillin, of course, has written and talked about level-headed wife Alice and their girls many times. Drawing on prior wisdom, he does some light deconstruction of his previous remarks. The usual humorous suspects (pets, schooling, spousal differences, and diapers) are covered nicely with the author's accustomed aplomb. Advances in baby technology (like Snuglis) are reviewed. Family holiday traditions (like scary Halloween outfits) are recounted. Trillin continues his heroic campaign to replace turkey on the national Thanksgiving menu with spaghetti carbonara. He is a confessed master of Chinese take-out cuisine. There are two Nova Scotias in his world: the smoked-salmon sort and the island, where the Trillins spend their summers. At heart just a lad from Kansas City, he thrives in New York, where, he thinks, about 10 percent of the people walking around Greenwich Village would be stopped by the police if they were in most American cities, and another 10 or 15 percent would at least be interviewed by the local TV news. The two most evident enthusiasms, though, of this Homo domesticus are his daughters, who, happily, share the attributes of every father's girl: They are the brightest, most comely and clever of creatures. As to what may count in rearing children, "your children are either the center of your life or they're not, and the rest is commentary."The commentary is all nimble and easygoing, almost coasting for a clever wordsmith. He lives up to the book's title.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780140868005
Publisher:
Viking Penguin
Publication date:
07/01/1998
Edition description:
4 Cassettes
Product dimensions:
7.14(w) x 4.44(h) x 1.42(d)

Meet the Author

Calvin Trillin is the author of nineteen previous books. He writes a weekly column for Time and a weekly poem for The Nation. He lives in New York City.

Brief Biography

Hometown:
New York, New York
Date of Birth:
December 5, 1935
Place of Birth:
Kansas City, Missouri
Education:
B.A., Yale University, 1957

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Family Man 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
jsymons More than 1 year ago
If, for some reason, you're reading this but have yet to read a Calvin Trilin book, do yourself a big favor and go out and get one.