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.
|Product dimensions:||5.78(w) x 8.54(h) x 0.91(d)|
About the Author
Dan Zevin has been a comic correspondent for NPR, the humor columnist for Boston Magazine and the Boston Phoenix, and a contributor to national publications, including Rolling Stone, Maxim, Details, Elle, Cosmopolitan, and Glamour. He is the author of Entry-Level Life, The Nearly-Wed Handbook, and The Day I Turned Uncool, which was optioned by Adam Sandler’s Happy Madison Productions and is now in development at Sony.
Table of Contents
My Cup Holders Runneth Over 1
Every Dog Has His Day (in Court) 9
On No Longer Giving a Shit 35
Big Nose On Campus 45
Nanny in a Haystack 63
Mommy and Me 83
Dating Ourselves 97
Some Friendly Advice to the Aloof Hipster Dad at the Playground 111
Directions for Enjoying Disneyland 121
Semi Guitar Hero 131
The Long Limp Home 143
Tennis Menace 157
A New Jersey Pilgrim's Progress 171
The Day I Turned into My Father 179
Suburbed: Scenes from a Summer Vacation 195
What People are Saying About This
“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
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
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.
‘Dan get a Minivan’ is a fun memoir about trying to balance life and kids and realizing sometime you have to choose one. The author delivers several interesting stories and is quite humorous throughout the book. He also gives some pretty good advice along the way. I think it’s a great book for men of a certain age.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.