Summary: Funny, but read more like a series of jokes than a cohesive book.
I am not sure who introduced me to Jim Gaffigan, but I thank whoever it was. I have a tendency to be a bit overly serious and so I have to be intentional about adding humor into my world. Jim Gaffigan is my favorite stand up comic right now.
I read his Dad is Fat right after it came out last year, and bought the audiobook of Food: A Love Story on Tuesday, the day it came out.
If you are going to read a comic’s book, you should get the audiobook if they are narrating. Comics understand delivery, even if they are not professional narrators. There were a few places were it was clear that Gaffigan was reading, but most of the time the delivery was good and more similar to a stand up show than a narrated book.
That is also part of why I did not enjoy the book (and Dad is Fat) as much as I thought I would. Yes, there were lots of funny moments. And I still definitely recommend it if you are a Gaffigan fan.
The problem is that Gaffigan is a comic, not a writer. As a comic he is focused on one liners and short funny stories. So the book really wasn’t structured as a whole. It all loosely connected around the theme of food. (And Gaffigan is good talking about food.) But it lacked cohesion.
There were glimmers of what a better book could be. He could not have a book on food without talking about Hot Pockets. But anyone that has a slightest knowledge of Gaffigan has heard his Hot Pockets stuff. So he talked a bit about how the Hot Pocket jokes evolved. And that was good, but then it went back to more jokes.
The laziest part of the book was the lists. Lists of fast food restaurants, lists of ethnic restaurants, lists of types of barbeque.
I am not disappointed I read the book, but I am disappointed in the book because I expected more. Also if you have seen many of Gaffigan’s shows (all videos for me) then about 25% of the book will be familiar.