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Man of the House by Ad Hudler
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Man of the House

by Ad Hudler

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Ad Hudler's follow-up to "Househusband" revisits the Menner family as the dad, Linc, is struggling with another relocation as well as his identity. At the same time, his daughter Violet is navigating puberty, and his wife has taken on more responsibility as the head of a chain of hospitals. All of this is a recipe for an exploration of gender roles and identity... something Hudler does very well. Chapter perspectives alternate between Linc, his wife Jo, their daughter Violet, and one of Violet's teachers. Oddly enough, I found the chapters written from the viewpoint of Jo and Violet to be much more engaging than the other two. Linc was so self-absorbed he annoyed me, and Jessica (the teacher) is just too creepy to be enjoyed.

Although I liked Man of the House, I was sad at the lack of recipes in this book (the ones in Househusband that I've tried have been great), although I understand why they aren't here as they could not be tied to the narrative. The "tips" at the end of the chapters are distractions rather than enhancements, and I miss the laugh-out-loud humor that could be found in the first book.

All of that being said, there is much merit in this book, and I recommend it to everyone who has enjoyed Hudler's other books. I'm certainly looking forward to reading more by him! ( )
  kalky | Jun 5, 2011 |
A fun read that is about a family where the dad is the full time homemaker and mom is the full time breadwinner. After ten years of staying at home dad is getting restless and the results are sometimes laugh out loud funny. The one child in the family, a 13 year old girl, is way to good to be true but she, her school and her English teacher give the plot an interesting twist. ( )
  clue | Jul 25, 2010 |
For fourteen years, Linc Menner has been content to be a stay at home husband while his wife Jo works in an executive position at a hospital. He's been perfectly happy cooking, cleaning, running errands, and shopping with daughter Violet. But things change when Jo gets a promotion and the family moves to Naples, Florida. They buy a house that is a fixer-upper and the renovations throw the family into turmoil. Violet is thirteen and growing up fast, Linc is helping fix up the house and questioning his manliness while unknowingly capturing the attention of one of Violet's teachers, and Jo is wondering what happened to her attentive husband. It's hurricane season both in Florida and in the Menner household.

"Man of the House" is a very funny semi-autobiographical novel. Author Ad Hudler uses four points of view in the novel - Linc, Jo, Violet, and Jessica Varnadore (Violet's teacher). This works well in several ways including watching the bewilderment that Jo and Violet feel as Linc changes in ways that he himself doesn't quite understand. Linc's change from househusband to he-man is very believable and very funny. His obsession with hurricanes and the Weather Channel is also very funny. Other funny bits include Linc's fighting for a parking space at Violet's school, his visit to a strip club, and his handy hints that are scattered throughout the book. All of the characters are believable - Linc with his increasing desire to be more than a househusband; Violet as she struggles with puberty; Jo as she tries to juggle a demanding job and family life; and Jessica with her increasing obsession with Linc. While the book is very funny and laugh out loud funny at times, there is also an undercurrent of seriousness, with the impending hurricane and the strains a marriage can go through. Also, Jessica is treated as a very troubled character, never an object of fun.

"Man of the House" is a very funny novel. ( )
  drebbles | May 19, 2010 |
‘Man of the House’ a fast-paced, well-written and fun romp.

By BARBARA RIXSTINE / For the Lincoln Journal Star
Sunday, Mar 29, 2009 - 12:01:28 am CDT

(“Man of the House” by Ad Hudler, Ballantine Books, 291 pages, $14).

Ah, if only we all had a house-husband like Linc Menner, who’s been minding the home fort and caring for daughter Violet for 13 years while wife Jo rises in the hospital administration ranks. Linc is sensitive, faithful, artistic, capable of verbalizing his feelings (and speaking his mind), a gourmet cook and a champion house manager — perfect, right?

Well, maybe. Linc’s beginning to feel that maybe he’s been in Girlyland too long, that perhaps it’s time to go back to being a guy. But how can you be a guy and make lump-free gravy?

Enter Rod, the remodeler and construction liaison. A little time with Rod, who’s definitely clear on which gender does what, leads Linc to do “guy stuff” — shoot guns, drive pickup trucks, stand instead of sit for certain calls of nature. (Real proof that he’s been in Girlyland too long, Linc thinks.)

Pretty soon everyone’s confused about who the man of the house is … except for Jessica, Violet’s English teacher, a champion sharpshooter herself, who’s got her eye on Linc as more than parent-teacher conference material.

Even if you’ve never been a stay-at-home mom or dad, you’ll find “Man of the House” a fast-paced, well-written and fun romp by a University of Nebraska journalism alum who knows about house-husbanding from personal experience.

Hudler, who’s written three other books, is currently at work on a collection of humorous essays and is married to Carol Hudler, president of a large newspaper group.

Hudler said: “Writing and housework complement each other well; one is brain-intensive, the other is brain-dead, and after struggling on a paragraph for 20 minutes, folding the white load provides a welcome respite.”

There’s even a reader’s guide for book clubs who want more information. Whether it’s for book club or your own enjoyable reading, you’ll get a welcome respite from the daily drudge with “Man of the House.”
  majorbabs | Jul 9, 2009 |
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While his wife, Jo, brings home the bacon, Linc Menner holds down the fort--his gourmet cooking, cleaning, and devotion to his daughter, Violet, is unparalleled. But when the Menners relocate to Naples, Florida, life takes an unexpected turn. As the Menners renovate their home Linc?s bliss turns into a war zone of contractors, drywall dust, and chaos. And suddenly being surrounded by workmen makes Linc realize he has forgotten what it feels like to be a man. He trades his flip-flops for work boots, and his wild mop of hair for a barbershop buzz, and marches to the nearest gym?attracting the secret devotion of one of Violet?s teachers in the process. To make matters worse, it?s hurricane season and there?s a category 5 heading right for Naples. As life on the homefront explodes into hilarity and catastrophe, he must chart his own delightfully crooked course.… (more)

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