The "F" Word
How to Survive Your Family
by Louie Anderson
Book Review by Amy Coffin
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Louie Anderson is the tenth of eleven children raised in Minnesota. His childhood was a difficult one. The comedian confronted many demons in his best selling open letter to his deceased father titled, Dear Dad: Letters from an Adult Child. This time, Anderson focuses on his entire clan in The "F" Word: How to Survive Your Family.

Anderson dispenses humor, advice and heartfelt honesty. He provides glimpses into his own family in an attempt to help others understand their own. The first portion of the book focuses on family as a concept, discussing the pros and cons of having one. Peppered throughout the book are forty-nine family survival tips.

The latter-half of The "F" Word has more autobiographical elements. Anderson candidly but respectfully discusses sibling rivalry. He's pegged with guilt about his success in comparison to his brothers and sisters. He has tried to give them money as a solution to their own problems without much success.

Anderson does not pretend to be a family relationship expert, but he's very observant of the quirks in families. The "F" Word reads like a conversation between Anderson and the reader. It is very easy to relate to his tale of relative woe.

Most admirable is the tone of this work. Dealing with relatives can be difficult. It's clear Anderson loves his own family. It shows in the respectful tone of his words. It shows in the heartfelt lifetime anecdotes. It even shows in the jokes for which the comedian is best known.

If you agree that the real "F" word is family, then Louie Anderson's book is for you. The "F" Word: How to Survive Your Family includes a bit of everything related to the one tree you can't chop down.