Dave Barry


Dave Barry’s Guide to Life

(Contains: "Dave Barry's Guide to Marriage and/or Sex"; "Babies and Other Hazards of Sex"; "Stay Fit and Healthy Until You're Dead"; and "Claw Your Way to the Top".)


I was first blown away by Dave Barry's Greatest Hits, a selection from his often hilarious (occasionally in a surreal way) column. This follow-up purchase was my cheapskate way of getting four books in one omnibus (and hardcover no less) edition: at amazon someone sold the book for something like a cent and all I paid was standard postage.


Well, next time I’ll be a bit less frugal and fork out for another collection of his columns. The ‘Guide to Life’ books were still amusing, occasionally laugh out loud, but not quite at the same standard. I think the short column format suits Barry better than sticking to one theme for an entire book. He earns his money, but at times it seems to require more effort to squeeze out all the pages; whereas at his best his columns feel like he’s just joyously ranting on a theme he doesn’t have to sustain for any length of time before being distracted by something else.


It’s a bit of a time piece too – although for anyone who lived through the 80s that can be an enjoyable feature. That being said, it’s interesting how many things still ring true, even raves about computers with a fraction the RAM but disturbingly similar frustrations.


July 2007