Reviewed by Christy
Jim Gaffigan is a popular stand-up comedian well known for his diatribes on junk food (like Hot Pockets), fatherhood, and being, well, fat. In this 2013 memoir, Gaffigan focuses on life as a father of five in a two bedroom apartment in New York City.
I checked out this audio book via READS to have something to pass the time. In these stressful times, I wanted something light and fun, and this certainly seemed to fit the bill. It ended up being just kind of ok. If you’re a fan of Gaffigan’s stand-up, like I am, you’ll find a lot of this material familiar. While there are new anecdotes, a lot of it is pulled from his act so it ends up feeling repetitive. I understand the temptation to use what you’ve already written but if you’re marketing towards your fans, wouldn’t you want it to feel fresh? Was this an attempt to reach non-fans? Do people often pick up books by comedians they’ve never listened to? Maybe they do. If not, I’m not sure who this book is for.
I got a little tired of hearing how much his wife does and how little he does (exaggerated as it may be). How his children are little terrors. How much he wants to be alone. I think these bits work better in a stand-up routine when it’s worked in with more varied jokes. Fleshed out as a full book it just feels a little too much. I don’t want it to sound like I hated this book because I didn’t. Gaffigan reads it with his characteristic wit, and that was enjoyable. But ultimately, I think this is a celeb memoir you’re fine skipping.