I really enjoyed the reading, although it went on longer than it might normally and longer than I might have preferred. The “why” behind both of those too-long judgments is the same: because there were children involved. I enjoy watching kids, but I also enjoy walking away from them as soon as my fascination wanes. Dan Zevin’s kids, around ages seven and four, were listening and reacting as he read. Cute at first, then a bit of a drag. Credit to Dan’s wife, she tried to calm them down, and then removed them. Kudos. For the same reason, I thought the reading could have been truncated because it dealt with raising kids (I have none) and learning to appreciate your aging mother’s needs for your companionship (I have no aging mother). So, you see, clearly, the reasons I had any negative reaction at all were not reasons you, dear reader, may share.
If you like humor, if you enjoy children, if you love family, Dan Gets a Minivan is a no-brainer purchase. Get it, read it, then gift it to someone you love (or keep it where guests can get a chuckle). Dan Zevin is a very funny writer. Dave Barry even says so on the cover of the book. He blurbs: “Dan Zevin is a major talent. I want to kill him.” Since buying the book at the signing, I’ve seen it reviewed in People magazine (3 out of 4 stars) and in The Wall Street Journal (a rather jaded reviewer, though he has to admit by the end of his critique that the book really does hit home). BTW, the Comments in that link to the WSJ make for good reading too.
This author, Dan Zevin, is both talented and connected. He has earned every bit of the attention being paid. I’m very upset with his publisher, however, which is Scribners. On the second page of the first essay, the author’s editor kept this in there: “So don’t give me any aggravation, alright?” Can you guess what upsets me about that sentence? I refer you to a wonderful article on all right vs. alright by Grammar Girl.
What was the last humor book you read? Do you remember what you especially liked or disliked about it?