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4.3 out of 5 stars
Fatherhood: The Truth
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26 of 26 people found the following review helpful
on 22 April 2005
I had to stop reading Fatherhood in bed because, every night, I would suddenly have a long and near helpless fit of laughter. My wife would want to know what I'd found so funny, and then she would be laughing too, and hey presto! all traces of drowsiness were gone. I was obliged to read the book only during daylight, and then outside working (and childcaring) hours. Because Fatherhood is simply the funniest book I have read about pregnancy and childcare, and also - and even more importantly - the only one I have read to have such an acute insight into the father's point of view. For example, Berkmann is being both funny and ruefully perceptive when he observes that the 20 minutes the father-to-be spends staring at a sad, depleted hospital vending machine somewhere in those long hours of his partner's first labour are the last moments he will truly have to himself, probably ever. He is all too correct when he tells us that getting to grips (literally) with "piss, shit and vomit" - to give one of the book's splendidly honest chapter headings - will soon become as routine as brushing your teeth. By the way, if you are one of those patriarchal types who thinks changing a nappy or doing a night feed is someone else's job - shame on you! -  you won't like this book. It is a manual for the hands on dad, carefully and informatively taking him through every stage of the fatherhood process from that fateful act of jiggy-jiggy to the puke-stained trousers at the first birthday party a mere 21 months later. Fatherhood is reassuringly sensible, genuinely instructive, and also absolutely hilarious. Fellow dads of infants, read this book to know that you are not alone.
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
on 30 March 2006
This book is a really funny (and truthful) account from the worries about the first scan, to the horrors of changing nappies, and seems to cover every new Dad's hopes and fears in an entertaining way as possible. I haven't read any of Marcus' other work, but he approaches this subject with a passion for comedy and an eye for the truth, that will cut through all the old wives tales associated with fatherhood and baby issues. Essential reading for Father and Mother alike! In fact the wife said it was ten times better for her than any of the books aimed at new mothers!
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44 of 46 people found the following review helpful
on 27 June 2005
Couldn't think of anything catchier for my review title, but that says it all. There are far too many books on fatherhood out there that are written in a conspirational 'I know you'd rather be down the pub, mate' sort of way that is, quite frankly, tiresome (read 'You're Pregnant Too, Mate!' if you want evidence of this).
This is a very well written book that manages to combine some really useful information with a great deal of humour. I would consider my 'level' of humour to be relatively highbrow, and I certainly don't go along with the reviewer who felt this treated them as a teenager. As a 34 year old man expecting my first child I felt it was pitched just about perfectly.
He tells things exactly as they are, without trying to preach or force his opinions down your neck. It's refreshing to read something that acknowledges the different attitudes to fatherhood men may have, and doesn't simply assume we are all dreading it and wish we'd 'been more careful'.
Clearly I cannot comment on how accurate some of the content is just yet, as our child does not arrive for a few weeks, but I certainly feel a lot better informed as to what to expect.
Thoroughly enjoyable from beginning to end - can't recommend it highly enough.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on 5 August 2005
Tells it how it really is, making one cringe and laugh together!I so enjoyed the book which took me back to those early days very vividly .A must for anyone preparing to embark on the fatherhood journey or for anyone who wants to be reminded of what it was all like -it has a strange tendency to be superseded by every new stage and Marcus Berkmann brings it all back in sharp detail.A chance too for the mums to see from the dad's perspective...
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 14 April 2010
A thoroughly enjoyable read, both insightful and funny. I am a farther to be for the first time and like some of you I'm sure, I am constantly going through the mix of emotions, from being thrilled with excitement to possibly the most frightened you have ever been. In one breath you can't wait for the day to arrive and in the next you worry about what lies ahead. Both my partner and I have been flooded with material from our midwife and other parent clubs we have joined and some of you will agree that it can be slightly daunting and over whelming. My partner has brought and been given many pregnancy and parenting books and yes they were serious, to the point and very informative and these books are great as a reference guide. However `Fatherhood the truth' is not one of these books! It is an enjoyable `MALE ORIENTATED' view. It's full of funny `laddish' humour that to be honest will put your mind at a little ease in the onslaught of literature and stories you hear and receive. I have already read some of my partner's medical related books on pregnancy and they can be as informative as they can be frightening and confusing. This book will not give you the answers as it's clearly Mr. Berkman's views but what it will do is poise questions for you to investigate at the same time as entertaining you.

If you are a farther to be or already have Children and is intending on buying this book I only ask that you ignore the negative comments some people have left, I feel them to be very unjust and also feel that they don't understand what this book is about and who its aimed at. I can only imagine that the people who left the negative comments brought this or any book as they wanted a clear step by step guide with all the answers on how to act and how to be a parent! As far as I'm concerned if you need a book to tell you exactly how to be a parent . . .you probably shouldn't be having children!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 25 August 2009
This is quite simply one of the best books anywhere near this subject. I have recommended it to every dad-to-be I have come across. Nothing in my wife's massive library of parental literature came close to being this funny, and this informative. I am sure that the humour is also one of the best ways to help you recall all that vital information when it comes to the crunch and you are really wishing that you'd paid more attention in the NCT classes. Buy it now whilst you still have have disposable income.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 9 April 2008
For those who are new or about to become new fathers this is an excellent book. Written in a bloke friendly way (I had tried to read a couple of others which were hard going in comparison). Full of humour but with plenty of facts that got me thinking about the right things without filling me with dread or fear. It equipped me to go on and read some of the other books that I had found harder going...
Anyway highly recommended.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon 17 November 2007
This was great. An easy read, and one that set my mind at rest with its ruthlessly honest insights into how men feel about stuff. I have delved into a couple of baby books written mainly with the mother in mind, and they were well worth reading. But Berkmann pitches his witty advice straight at the father-to-be, and relates the story of pregnancy, birth and babyhood without sparing us any of the neuroticism, cynicism, selfishness and panic that fill your brain.
I don't know why some reviewers gave this book the thumbs down. You'd have to be pretty po-faced or unselfconfident to pretend it's not both funny and useful. Of course it is not the only manual you will need on the road to fatherhood, but it fills in a lot of the gaps, and if it gets some semi-detached dads more interested in their family, then hooray.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 10 January 2008
I read it cover-to-cover in 3 sittings and I laughed out loud repeatedly. I connected with the fears and hopes and feelings of the men whose stories are told and I thought the tone was just about right... but... but... there were 3 or 4 all too brief discussions of medical matters that I thought, however well-meaning, were misleading. I'd tell him too if I could find his email address.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 10 January 2010
I'm somewhat confused to see that a review was written claiming this book was vaguely misogynistic below. We're all entitled to an opinion... so get a grip!

As a father to be for the first time, this book was to me, frankly, a huge relief. If you are facing this life changing event with some trepidation (and I simply can't believe that any first time father would be feeling anything else) then this book makes for a light-hearted, realistic introduction to things that are about to happen while helping to you understand the general time-line and generating questions you need to research for more depth of understanding. And all this in a voice you can listen to.

Although I haven't read many other pregnancy books (yet), there are a couple in my house that don't speak in a recognisable voice at all. It is clearly understood in "Fatherhood" that pregnancy is predominantly the female domain (and we [soon-to-be] fathers are, majoratively, playing catch-up) and that it is not something men have given a great deal of advance thought to. Erm... that would explain "The Truth" bit then. No problem with this on any level, we are blokes after all AND THAT's OK!

I will certainly be exploring further reading to try to learn some of the more technical aspects pregnancy and parenthood in more depth as the day nears but this has been a good (and kind) way to help me come to terms with the forthcoming new life. And it has genuine laugh-out-loud moments to boot.

Get reading gents, and good luck!
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