Monday, December 22, 2008

Review - Man of the House By Ad Hudler

Man of the House
By Ad Hudler
Ballantine Books
ISBN: 9780345481085
For more than a decade, Linc Menner has raised the status of househusband to an art form. While his wife, Jo, brings home the bacon, Linc Menner holds down the fort–his gourmet cooking is sublime, his cleaning unrivaled, and his devotion to his daughter, Violet, unparalleled. But when the Menners relocate from upstate New York to the steamy beaches of Naples, Florida, life takes an unexpected turn.

As the Menners renovate their new home Linc’s bliss turns into a war zone of contractors, dry wall dust, and chaos. And suddenly being surrounded by guys whose faces go blank as he expounds on the virtues of lump-free gravy makes Linc realize he has forgotten what it feels like to be a man. So Linc trades his flip-flops for work boots, and his wild mop of hair for a barbershop buzz, and marches his flabby physique to the nearest gym – attracting the secret devotion of one of Violet’s teacher in the process.

And his stunned family watches helplessly as they lose the man who keeps them all together. To make matters worse, it’s hurricane season and there’s a category 5 heading right for Naples. As life on the home front explodes into hilarity and catastrophe, Linc must chart his own delightfully crooked course to finally become the Man of the House.


I'm still reading this book, but so far so good. What I like reading is opinionated Linc Menner saying things most of us think but keep mum about (especially about Moms and parking in the school! That part is just hilarious!). The gender role-reversal, though, is the most interesting aspect of this book. While most women long to find a husband like Linc, what many of us may not realize how life is from such a man's viewpoint. He's like a man without a country, neither fully accepted by the females whose main domain is the parenting/household aspect of life, and shunned by the men who leave such traditional roles to the women under the guise of incompetence. It is truly an eye-opener. We also see from Linc's wife's perspective that living with such a man is also not easy. She's the bread-winner and that's come to affect their non-traditional marriage.

Of course, there's a lot more to this book than just that. But this is the backbone of this novel. Another very interesting aspect in this book is that each chapter is narrated by a different person's viewpoint - Linc, his wife, his daughter, the teacher who has a secret crush on him etc. Which makes it necessary to pay attention to the chapter titles or else the reader is completely lost.

I haven't read the first book in this series, but now I want to! It's a book I'd love to share with the men in my life. What's stopping me is that I'm at that point in the story where Linc is finding himself trying to become more manly and shunning his hitherto raging feminism. Now, that's not the message I want to send, hence the hesitation. Perhaps the first book might be more appropriate as a gift?

If any of you has read the first book in this series, Househusband, let me know if you think that'd make a better gift for a man. 

And you're more than welcome to comment which books you're giving/recommending as gifts this holiday season or which you want to receive.

-About the Book:
-About Ad Hudler:
-Chapter excerpt:
-Discussion Questions:

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