Honest, funny, and smart, David Barringer makes brilliant comic work of contemporary suburban fatherhood. Henry Doran stays home while his wife, Tina, works as a family doctor, but the real stars are the kids, Lilly ( tall and lean, a second-grader, all limbs and a Broadway ego ) and Lance ( a solid sensitive first-grader who loves facts about animals ). The literary equivalent of a TV sitcom, American Home Life tackles the domestic, the tragicomic, and the imminently futuristic (talking appliances, chore cards, implantable I.
D. chips, corporate schools, kids who refuse to pay taxes, gay guinea pigs, drunk pollsters who spend the night, and shock bracelets that force you to lose weight). The prose is clean and sharp, the family issues are urgent, and the observations are timeless. As in any family sitcom, though, it s the kids who steal the show.