How to Be a Husband
While this book is indeed titled How to Be a Husband, please do not mistake it for a self-help book. Tim Dowling--columnist for The Guardian, husband, father of three, a person who once got into a shark tank for money--does not purport to have any pearls of wisdom about wedded life. What he does have is more than twenty years of marriage experience, and plenty of hilarious advice for what not to do in almost every conjugal situation. With the sharp wit that has made his Guardian columns a weekly must-read, Dowling explores what it means to be a good husband in the twenty-first century. The bar has been raised dramatically in the last hundred years: back in the day, every time you went out for cigarettes, it was simply expected that you came back. Now, every time you're sent out for espresso pods and tampons, it is expected that you come back with the right sort. And being a father doesn't seem to command much innate respect these days, either. When his first child was born, Dowling imagined himself eliciting a natural awe as the distant, authoritative figurehead; he did not anticipate his children hijacking his Twitter account to post heartfelt admissions of loserdom like, "Hi, I suck at everything I try in life." Still, two decades of wedded bliss is nothing to sneeze at, particularly from a couple who agreed to get married with the resigned determination of two people plotting to bury a body in the woods. How to Be a Husband is a wickedly funny guide to surviving the era of "The End of Men" (hint: it involves DIY), and an unexpectedly poignant memoir about love, marriage, and staying together until death doth you part.
- Paperback | 274 pages
- 137 x 208 x 15mm | 227g
- 03 May 2016
- Blue Rider Press
"Reading Dowling is a lot like reading Erma Bombeck - if Erma Bombeck had a penis and an English wife and resembled, at times, 'a frightened potato.' With a sense of humor that's dagger-sharp and endearingly self-deprecating, Dowling describes himself as less alpha male than lambda male - and he deserves to be better known in America. Though the title seems skewed towards a male audience, the book will find female fans as well. Whether Dowling is writing about marriage, parenting, love or death, I'd follow him anywhere." --Margo Rabb, The New York Times Book Review "Though he laments this age of 'The End of Men, ' Dowling has not written a mansplaining manual or a How to Have It All book for dudes. It's more How to Hold On to the Best Thing You've Got. While some guys may read portions aloud to their spouses -- 'See, it's not just me!' -- I suspect most of us will discreetly take a few notes and maybe even try some things out. Note to shoppers: This book is a great Valentine's Day gift for today's chronically disappointing husband. Dowling recoils from the 'self-help book' label. 'Do not be like me, ' he stresses. But in one way, we do want to be like him. Dowling's wife -- identified in the text only as 'the English girl' or 'my wife, ' but revealed as 'Sophie' in the dedication -- comes off as one of those irresistible British television characters, never as cool in the American version of the show.... No, Dowling and Sophie don't have one of those 'I love you . . . I love you, too' marriages; they're more of a 'You'll be sorry when I'm dead' couple. But for those moments when life together gets overwhelming, Dowling offers one perfect piece of advice: 'Never underestimate the tremendous healing power of sitting down together from time to time to speak frankly and openly about the marital difficulties facing other couples you know.'" --Washington Post "Dowling's a very fresh and smart writer...there's a proper laugh every couple of pages, and as often as not it arises from the texture of the situation, the tone of voice, the characters...But as well as being funny, which he has to be, Dowling is sometimes plangent - as in a chapter about his mother's death - and he is more often than not wise."--Sam Leith, The Guardian (UK) "Although not a self-help book, nuggets of unexpected, useful advice on how to be a good husband can be found in the author's witticisms... Dowling's entertaining commentary on marriage will resonate with men and women alike. Tongue-in-cheek observations on married life coupled with poignant moments of true love and grief." - Kirkus Reviews
About Tim Dowling
Tim Dowling is an American journalist for the Guardian and writes a weekly column for Weekend magazine. He lives with his wife and three sons in London.