Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Less daffy than I thought

kw: book reviews, nonfiction, humor, life situations

Dave Barry has written a bunch of books, 38 according to the end papers of Live Right and Find Happiness (Although Beer is Much Faster): Life Lessons and Other Ravings from Dave Barry. Some 25 of them are a genre I'd call "humorified autobiography", including this one. And I suspect that many of his chapters, or parts of chapters, began as material in his long-running column in the Miami Herald.

In view of the fact that he's a couple years shy of 70, this book seems to cover about the last three years, with flashbacks all over the place. "All over the place" is a good description of his style(s) of humor. He has remarkable range, from studied exaggeration ("…our youth soccer experience involves spending many hours in parking lots during heavy downpours…") to wild exaggeration (reviewing Google Glass, he suggests a few things, including "It should be able to shoot pepper spray") to absurd exaggeration (the chapter "Cable News is On It", which begins with tepid non-reporting of a near-non-rumor and passes through "Bob, it's to soon to speculate, but if Americans aren't fully prepared to shoot and eat their neighbors, they have as much chance of survival as a moth in a bug zapper" on its way to nuclear apocalypse).

He ends with a letter to his infant grandson, which largely centers on the reasons why mustard and ketchup don't need refrigeration. A point to ponder: the condiments in restaurants are left out all day…

I guess that's about as much review as I can wring out of this one. Fun.

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