The Book Direct blog by Lynda Dickson

This book is very cleverly structured. The stories are not in chronological order, although there is a “map” at the beginning of the book giving the order of the events. From the first story, explaining the origin of the book’s title, the author sets the tongue-in-cheek tone. You just know you’re going to be in for a fun ride. The book covers such varied topics as Matthew’s first car, scattering his mother’s ashes, how he proposes to his wife, fulfilling his mother’s dying wish, his time as a disc jockey, and the time he was running late for a hockey match. At the end, we come full circle and discover what happens after the first story. A very neat conclusion. Cute black-and-white illustrations at the beginning of each chapter add a whimsical touch.

While many of the stories of Matthew’s youth revolve around drinking, many of the later ones feature funny things his children say. Despite the humor, there are also a number of sobering and touching stories. There are also some beautiful descriptive passages. We see Matthew in all of his personas, as young larrikin Matthew, son Matthew, friend Matthew, boyfriend Matthew, husband Matthew, and father Matthew. By the end of the book you’ll feel like you actually know him.

Some of my favorite stories: “Carpool”, “Popping the Question”, “Surprise Party”, and “Guess What’s in Your Pocket”.

An absolute pleasure to read. With its dry wit, humor, and laugh-out-loud moments, you’ll need to be careful where you are when you’re reading this book.

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