- Shopping Bag ( 0 items )
From Barnes & NobleThe Barnes & Noble Review
Dave Barry Turns 50 is a book about the really important moments and people in American history — about Kennedy and Woodstock and the invention of Silly Putty; about the Cuban Missile Crisis and Jimi Hendrix and the television debut of "Captain Kangaroo." It's about the good old days, and about how living through them leaves one ill-equipped to survive in the harsh, un-'60s-and-'70s-like world of today. In short, it's about being a baby boomer and getting old.
Dave Barry brings his unique perspective to the above topics, as well as a host of others, as he looks back over his (now very long) life and waxes lyrical and absurd about the very best parts. Or at least the parts he can remember. He begins, after a gratuitously silly introduction, with "The Early History of the Boomers." All you Dave Barry fans out there know what his writing is like, but here's a little sample, just for kicks:
The History of the Baby Boom generation is really the history of the entire species; for if we are to truly understand the Boomers, we must view them not as an isolated phenomenon, but as a result of all that went before them. And thus we must begin our story by travelling back in time millions of years, to the moment when the very first human being appeared on earth. After that a whole bunch of stuff happened, which leads us to...
1947. This is the historic year when the first Boomers were born. The reason there were so many of us was that our parents' generation, having endured the misery of the Depression and the horror of the war years, evidently spent most of 1946 inthesack. At the time, they thought they were merely starting families, as humans had done for eons; they had no way of knowing that they were creating a unique, historic generation. If they had known, probably a lot more of them would have opted to join celibate religious orders. But by the time they realized what they had let loose on the world, it was too late.
Dave Barry Turns 50 is wacky and hilarious — even by Dave Barry standards. In fact, it's one of his best books. This makes perfect sense if we look at his oeuvre (no, I don't hesitate to refer to it as such); though he's never written an unfunny book, he's always truly at the top of his game when writing about something he's obsessed with. Three of his earlier, and best, books are good examples of this. Dave Barry's Guide to Marriage and/or Sex, Dave Barry's Homes and Other Black Holes, and Babies and Other Hazards of Sex are all fraught with genuine mania; his marriage, house, and children, respectively, each really were the focus of his life when those books were written, and it showed.
And there's nothing that he's more obsessed with than aging. Reaching an age that he used to consider old ("Not middle-aged, like Dick Van Dyke and Mary Tyler Moore in 'The Dick Van Dyke Show'; but actually old, like Walter Brennan as Grandpappy Amos in 'The Real McCoys.'") has inspired him to produce his best material since, well, since Dave Barry Turns 40. One can only imagine what will happen when he really does start getting up there. Dave Barry Turns 100 is a book I would love to see.