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The Suburban You
By Mark Falanga

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The Suburban You<br>
Reports from the Home Front

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The Suburban You Reports from the Home Front
By Mark Falanga
Read by Mark Falanga
Random House Audio, 2004
ISBN: 0-7393-1533-1
Genre: Humor

Reviewed by Auggie Moore - November 8, 2004

When Mark Falanga moved from the city to the suburbs, after the birth of his first child, he discovered an entirely new and utterly exotic world. In The Suburban You - Reports from the Home Front Falanga chronicles how his family decided to move to the burbs and their transformation into suburbanites. Based on real life events, Falanga provides insights on everything from house hunting and block parties to commuting to work and his relationship with his wife.

The audio edition of this book is read by Falanga. The reading runs about five hours and is contained on four compact discs. The reading represents an abridgement of the original book, and this abridgement was approved by the author. His delivery is dour and deadpan, and while his vignettes are telling, they are not as humorous as I expected. Nonetheless, Falanga's writing is witty and aptly portrays the complicated suburban world, and he points out those unique aspects that make the modern suburban lifestyle so funny - especially to those not raised in this social setting. In attempting to humorize this narrative, Falanga uses the time-honored technique of exaggerating the eccentricities of many of the people and situations that he describes in this book. His wife comes across as a bit of a cry-baby and as a manipulator who twists Falanga around her finger. She also comes across as a woman who is unable to make up her mind - despite the fact that she has committed on giving up her career to stay at home with her children. She had a high-powered corporate job. I would hope that his caricature of his wife is one that has been exaggerated in order to enhance the supposed comedic value of the book. Otherwise, one would come away from this book with the impression that he neither appreciates her efforts to raise their children, nor does he respect her. You also come away from the book with the distinct impression that they don't really like each other. This aside, this is a diverting book that will have you chuckling and nodding your head in agreement with is observations, especially if you are a suburbanite. It is not, however, a laugh-out-loud offering.

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