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Written with self-excoriating candour and the driest humour, comes a book about being a dad from one of our best loved journalists.
"For me the hardest task of fatherhood was always the oppressive obligation to lead by example. My sons have been present on countless occasions when I have, as we say in my homeland, completely lost my shit. During these stressful moments I have often wished to turn to them as a judge might to a jury and say, "Please strike the next few minutes from the record", but many of those instances are chronicled in these pages. It's not because I'm any less ashamed now; it's because if I left them out there wouldn't be enough for a book.
Perhaps this is my life's true purpose: maybe I'm here to teach my sons that self-esteem comes and goes - it can get rolled right out of you at short notice - but that you still can get by in life without any, as long as you don't want to be a contestant on The Apprentice. That, at least, is my experience. And for what it's worth, my example."
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What Reviewers Are Saying
Praise for HOW TO BE A HUSBAND:
`You'll whoosh through this book with cheery hoots of laughter... Dowling's a very fresh and smart writer... There's a proper laugh every couple of pages... But as well as being funny, which he has to be, Dowling is sometimes plangent... and he is more often than not wise... there's pleasure and treasure here' Sam Leith, Guardian
`There's no denying [HOW TO BE A HUSBAND's] enormous readability ... Dowling's frequently hilarious Bildungsroman, detailing his evolution from feckless layabout to equally feckless husband and father, offers wisdom, insight and laugh-out-loud one-liners in equal measure ... Gloriously entertaining' Alexander Larman, Observer
`This isn't a self-help book ... What [Dowling] has done, effectively, is invent an entirely new genre in literature: that of the self-hinder book ... A rare delight.' Spectator
`Less a self-help than a self-hinder book, the Guardian columnist's account of how he has coped with the challenges of matrimony (answer: badly) should really be called How Not To Be a Husband.' Thomas Hodgkinson, Spectator, Books of the Year
'A charming book that claims erroneously, not to be a self-help guide. I've read it. My wife has read it. Divorce has been postponed, at least to Boxing Day.' Sunday Times, Books of the Year
`A charming book' Sunday Times