Tuesday, January 11, 2011

And You Thought Your Family was Dysfunctional!, by Paul K. Dayton

And You Thought Your Family was Dysfunctional!This is a book all about the author's crazy Portuguese family.  All the aunts are named Maria, so he devises other ways to keep them straight, based on ridiculous things that happen in their lives, including, but not limited to Aunt Vampira and Aunt Penis.  He also names his uncles, like Uncle Fart and Uncle Nut, also based on crazy antics.  We learn all about Porks, as the author calls them, and their ridiculous ways.  Sure to make you feel much better about your own family.

When I first was introduced to some of Dayton's stories about his Portuguese family, I was immediately able to relate.  Anyone whose family is in touch with their ethnic roots realizes that their ethnicity makes them a bit, um, different, from other people.  The stories in this book all but confirm this as fact.  I think any reader would be hard pressed to get through this book with out laughing.

I love that Dayton uses slang and colloquialisms in this book of family stories.  It makes the whole thing feel so much more genuine.  The style of writing is more like storytelling, and it reads much like a storytelling would talk, with ramblings and digressions.  It is self referential, but in a way that almost pokes fun at itself.  I love the nicknames for the aunts and uncles, particularly when we are told the back stories.

The only thing I felt was lacking was a few more stories about the author himself.  Mostly, the stories in which he appears are focused on other family members.  Personally, I want to know what Dayton's nickname would be, and the back story behind it.

I funny and entertaining read that gives you newfound appreciation for your own familial quirks.

I received a review copy of this book courtesy of the author.

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