Monday, March 25, 2013

Book Review - Cheaper by the Dozen

Cheaper by the Dozen


Frank B. Gilbreth & Ernestine Gilbreth Carey

Category: nonfiction, memoir, families, humor

Synopsis: Two of the twelve Gilbreth children tell their family’s story, reared by an efficiency expert father and a psychologist mother, set in the early part of the 20th century.

Date finished: 16 February 2013

Rating: *****

Comments: What a delightful book! Long a fan of large families, this book really satisfied. It is not often that I can describe a book as “hilarious,” but this was. I actually laughed out loud. I have enjoyed the “Cheaper by the Dozen” remakes starring Steve Martin and Bonnie Hunt. This Thanksgiving I watched the original movie. Frankly, I don’t know how the remakes got away with calling themselves “Cheaper by the Dozen.” They are nothing alike. Both great in their own way, but nothing alike. While watching the original movie, though, I was sucker-punched when Mr. Gilbreth, very suddenly, died. My jaw actually dropped. Not realizing the movie was based on a book, it seemed like a huge Hollywood blunder. Now I know the book is exactly like that. The last chapter is a quick, cheerless account of the father’s passing. The movie was faithful to the book. At any rate, there’s nothing to say other than “read this book.” You’ll enjoy the quick, humor-filled romp through life with 12 children (actually 11—they don’t really mention that the second child, Mary, died quite young).

Would you recommend this to a friend?
Yes, enthusiastically. And this would be a great book for tween readers (though they may need as much help as I did with the 1900s references).

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