Dave Barry Turns Forty

“Nothing productive has ever happened in a meeting. If Noah had formed an Ark Construction Task Force, it would still be arguing over the ideal number of cubits.”

I’m not quite sure I can explain why I like Dave Barry. Maybe it’s just because it’s one of those things I grew up with, like the Three Stooges and Far Side cartoons. There’s occasional “guy humor,” but everything is written tongue in cheek so you have no choice but to smile along. His column on Thanksgiving (can’t remember which book it’s in) sends me into stitches every time.

In Dave Barry Turns 40, he tackles such topics as Your Disintegrating Body, Planning Your Male Midlife Crisis, and Sports for the Over-40 Person (or, God Had a Reason for Creating the Barcolounger). One of the reasons I love Dave Barry is because he embellishes real life events to make a point, finding the humor in his own personal life. For example, in the sports chapter he describes the agonies of sitting through a Little League game where every child is afraid of the ball and seventeen runs could score on any given play. I also love how he uses repetition to make things funnier, like tying a current topic into a joke from a previous section. He did, however, turn completely serious in the chapter on dealing with aging parents, and wrote about the dilemna in such a touching manner that my eyes were watering.

All things considered, for me this was not one of his most effective books. Because he uses his own life, the book is mostly about the baby boomer generation that going over the hill in the early 1990s. I was able to appreciate his humor, but the topic wasn’t personally relevant to me at all. I’ve found over the years that I tend to prefer the books that collect his columns. The content seems to be more original than things like marriage or aging, though even here he manages to work in new insights.

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Published in: on August 17, 2009 at 10:33 pm  Leave a Comment  
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