• Dad's Maybe Book

  • By: Tim O'Brien
  • Narrated by: Tim O'Brien
  • Length: 12 hrs and 13 mins
  • 4.6 out of 5 stars (7 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Best-selling author Tim O’Brien shares wisdom from a life in letters, lessons learned in wartime, and the challenges, humor, and rewards of raising two sons.

A moving audio edition of Tim O’Brien’s poignant memoir, read by the author

“We are all writing our maybe books full of maybe tomorrows, and each maybe tomorrow brings another maybe tomorrow, and then another, until the last line of the last page receives its period.”

In 2003, already an older father, National Book Award-winning novelist Tim O’Brien resolved to give his young sons what he wished his own father had given to him - a few scraps of paper signed “Love, Dad”. Maybe a word of advice. Maybe a sentence or two about some long-ago Christmas Eve. Maybe some scattered glimpses of their rapidly aging father, a man they might never really know. For the next 15 years, the author talked to his sons on paper, as if they were adults, imagining what they might want to hear from a father who was no longer among the living.

O’Brien traverses the great variety of human experience and emotion, moving from soccer games to warfare to risqué lullabies, from alcoholism to magic shows to history lessons to bittersweet bedtime stories, but always returning to a father’s soul-saving love for his sons.

The result is Dad’s Maybe Book, a funny, tender, wise, and enduring literary achievement that will squeeze the listener's heart with joy and recognition.

©2019 Tim O’Brien (P)2019 HarperCollins Publishers

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Ghastly public weeping could result.

I was going to write “uneven” because Mr. O’Brien, while often perceptive and/or profound in this book, is just as often obvious or cloyingly blinkered by his paternal tsunami of feeling. But I just finished the damned thing and have been hopelessly crying for an hour (at least half of which had to happen as I was stupidly listening to the conclusion while shopping in Target). When I was young and foolish I thought Swinburne was talking about fickle paramours when he wrote I have lived long enough to see that love has an end. There is something so much more awful to contemplate. And old parents have to scuffle with it every goddamn day: that an hour will come when you can no longer love because you will be gone. As emotional and uneven as it is, it is also a FIERCE testimony of an old man’s pervasive love of his two boys. He knows all is mutable but he makes his declaration anyway. As maybe the purest act of love is making a fight for it when you know the fight will inevitably be lost.

I give Mr. O'Brien five performance stars for reading this damned thing to the end without once dissolving into unbridled blubbering.

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