Paul Barker (3 stars)

The Book of Dad (Fourth Estate)

Paul Barker


According to Paul Barker, Journalist Dad lives on pork scratchings and cigarettes, drives a second hand Saab and dreams of hanging out with Hollywood’s finest at the Dorchester Hotel while actually standing in the rain taking notes during a drab Sunday League encounter. How close to the truth is this scenario I couldn’t rightly say, but in Barker’s entertaining and slickly presented paean to fatherliness (subtitled: ‘Dadication’s What You Need’), he does get many things spot on.

It’s hard to deny the horrible truths about New Age Dad (Zen states don’t come about in tight clothing) and Dangerous Pursuits Dad (kayaks, four-wheel drives and camels are all to be found in the garage) while the facts about Viking Invasion Dad and 18th Century Scientist Dad are perhaps more tricky to confirm. At the end of this amusing book, the word ‘dad’ should seem rather strange indeed.


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