Dave Meurer,
Stark Raving Dad!
(Bethany House, 2002)

Are you one of millions of people who, as children, firmly believed that their purpose in life was to change the channels on the TV for their dads? Did your father live the "Do as I say, not as I do" way of life? If you are a father, have a father or ever knew a father, you will greatly appreciate both the truths and witticisms in Dave Meurer's Stark Raving Dad.

The dominant truth in Meurer's writing is that life is too important to not live it by faith, very seriously considering the decisions we make and how we choose to live. However, he also says that "it is precisely because life is so serious and the stakes are so high that we need to laugh more." He regales the reader with story after story of sophmorish pranks and hilarious tales that remind me both of my husband as a father and my dad. Most importantly, he drives home the point that families who are secure and comfortable enough to play and joke with each other (or play jokes on each other, as the case often is) are doing something right.

Meurer's kids delight in the fact that he is going bald. Almost every foray out into the sun ("The glare is back! Warn all approaching aircraft...") and to the barber ("Brad ... will offer to sell me the clippings to paste on my forehead") bring a new level to their shenanigans. But he's a dad, and he takes it all in stride. The Father's Day trampoline story that takes a pit-stop with a story about how he and his wife operate together in the kitchen is the perfect example of this author's ability to go off on a tangent without impeding the progress of the original story. In fact, it often reinforces the main point when both stories come together in the end to make the same point.

This book is full of little witticisms and laugh-out-loud hilarity for anyone, not just dads. It's a breath of fresh air that can be read a little at a time, when one feels in need of a great giggle. Be assured that you will recognize someone you know amongst his many riotous tales; it might even be yourself.

- Rambles
written by Carie Morrison
published 21 June 2003

Buy it from Amazon.com.