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Book Review: ‘Daddy Vs. The Suck Monster’ by J. Matthew Nespoli

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J. Matthew Nespoli is a very funny man. This book will make you laugh out loud many times, as long as you are not easily offended and do not mind learning to know the author, his wife, and his baby on an unusually intimate level.

suckmonsterWhile the book is mainly about the experience the author lived through transitioning from a free-thinking, adventurous man to a 30-something husband and father, it also encompasses many other subjects. Sex gets a lot of attention, as do Nespoli’s many misadventures, which often led to both physical and mental anguish. How many writers have had a stroke at the Burning Man festival or found themselves with a gun to their heads after going to the wrong address and walked away to laugh about it?

As for fatherhood, Nespoli is unflinchingly honest and certainly deals with many issues that have probably never been addressed in parenting books before. There is a lot of talk about poop because, after all, poop is a major factor in the lives of new parents. Nespoli also admits to mistakes and awkward situations that will probably make every other father who reads the book feel better about his own parenting.

And yet, there’s no question that Nespoli loves his wife and son and really wants to do the right thing. And, at least by the end of the book, they’ve all survived and the family is intact.

Sometimes this book is actually insightful.Certainly it may save some readers from some of the surprises involved in raising babies, particularly baby boys. At other times it is rude and even cringe-worthy, Nothing is off-limits and Nespoli does not appear to have a mental filter that indicates some things might not need to be shared, Nevertheless, the book is outrageously funny and will keep you anxiously turning the pages, impatient to see what nearly unbelievable incident or bluntly hilarious opinion the author will share next.

Again, this book is not for those who cherish polite boundaries or are uncomfortable with frank talk about sex or bodily functions. But if you are alright about that, be prepared to repeatedly laugh out loud. It will especially appeal to anyone who has ever been a parent.

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About Rhetta Akamatsu

I am an author of non-fiction books and an online journalist. My books include Haunted Marietta, The Irish Slaves, T'ain't Nobody's Business If I Do: Blues Women Past and Present, and Sex Sells: Women in Photography and Film.