Dave Barry's Bad Habits: A 100% Fact-Free Book

Overview

If you're not already acquainted--nay, infatuated--with the works of the man who the New York Times calls "the funniest man in America," you can get cracking right now with this all-time favorite collection of Dave Barry's humor columns. Dave Barry's Bad Habits won't rot your teeth, cause your insurance premiums to go up, or make your kids go cross-eyed if they sit too close to it. It will, however, make you laugh so hard your middle actually moves (the best exercise, and possibly the only kind you'll be ...

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Overview

If you're not already acquainted--nay, infatuated--with the works of the man who the New York Times calls "the funniest man in America," you can get cracking right now with this all-time favorite collection of Dave Barry's humor columns. Dave Barry's Bad Habits won't rot your teeth, cause your insurance premiums to go up, or make your kids go cross-eyed if they sit too close to it. It will, however, make you laugh so hard your middle actually moves (the best exercise, and possibly the only kind you'll be interested in after forty). Here, preserved for all time, are Barry's profoundest musings on such topics as how to get kids to stop smoking (eliminate tenth grade), what to do if your car is making loud noises (turn up the radio), and a solution to the battle of the sexes (let the men do housework, say, for the next six thousand years to even things up). Together they serve to expose the little insanities of everyday life and assure us that we're not completely alone in a world gone mad.

A collection of Barry's most profound musings on the condition and malaise of American society, including his advice on how to get kids to stop smoking (eliminate 10th grade), what to do if your car is making loud noises (turn up the radio), and more. A Pulitzer Prize-winning syndicated columnist at The Miami Herald, Barry has written 15 humorous books.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"Bad Habits--funny book. Read it."--Gannett News Service

"Dave Barry is nothing less thatn the smart-aleck Peter Pan of American letters."--the Seattle Times

"Dave Barry is the guru of guffaws."--the Atlanta Journal-Constitution

"He has the ability to charm us with nonsense so compelling that it almost makes sense."--Houston Chronicle

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780805029642
  • Publisher: Holt, Henry & Company, Inc.
  • Publication date: 9/28/1993
  • Edition description: Revised
  • Pages: 292
  • Sales rank: 604,524
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 0.68 (d)

Meet the Author

Dave Barry

A Pulitzer Prize-winning syndicated columnist at the Miami Herald, Dave Barry is also the author of fifteen other funny books, including Dave Barry Talks Back and Dave Barry Does Japan.

Biography

In the introduction to Dave Barry Is Not Taking This Sitting Down, the author addresses the desirability of his job as a humor writer and syndicated columnist. "It looks so easy!" he wrote. "...Every year, hundreds of thousands of people try their hand at this demanding profession. After a few months, almost all of them have given up and gone back to the ninth grade."

Yes, Barry is juvenile at times -- but he has achieved the kind of success that can only come from combining a juvenile mind with intelligence, timing, and a keen eye for the absurd. Favorite Barry targets include government inanity, dogs, guys, the Internet, and other oddities of life. He also specializes in weird news and urban myths involving UFO hunters, Pop-Tart science, and toilets. Many of these essays feature the line that has become his catchphrase, "I am not making this up." (Unless, of course, he is introducing something serious and daunting such as a book about the federal government, in which case he reassures that he has made everything up.)

Usually, though, he's not making it up. What he's doing is making it very funny. Whether the target is Congress or commercials, Barry refuses to take anything seriously, least of all himself – but he manages to convey some pretty indicting truths in the process. He's a master of irony and visual punchlines, sometimes interrupting himself with lists, snippets of dialogue, or other on-topic digressions. On the subject of turning 50 and dealing with waning eyesight (a "good thing" about aging, because "you can't read anything"), Barry describes finding restaurant menus suddenly printed "in letters the height of bacteria." He continues: "For some reason, everybody else seemed to be able to read the menus. Not wishing to draw attention to myself, I started ordering my food by simply pointing to a likely looking blur.

ME (pointing to a blur): I'll have this.
WAITER: You'll have "We Do Not Accept Personal Checks"?
ME: Make that medium rare."

Barry has had the most successful and prolific publishing career of any working newspaper columnist, and his humor never seems to go out of style. In 1999, he decided to try his hand at fiction. The result was Big Trouble, a comic thriller à la Carl Hiassen (though filled more with gags than guns) that Entertainment Weekly proclaimed "... not only very funny, [but] sure-footed, even-handed, levelheaded, and other leading book review adjectives." In 2004, he and Ridley Pearson collaborated on Peter and the Starcatchers, a clever prequel to Peter Pan that spawned two additional novels and a series of spin-off children's chapter books.

Along with several other published authors, Barry is a member of the musical group Rock Bottom Remainders. In assessing the band's talents, he has been quoted as saying: "They are not musically skilled, but they are extremely loud."

Good To Know

The Rock Bottom Remainders was originally organized by a publicist to perform at the 1992 American Booksellers Association convention. The members -- which include (or have included) Barry, Stephen King, Amy Tan, Ridley Pearson, Barbara Kingsolver, Mitch Albom, and Matt Groening -- even took their show on the road at one point, turning it into the now out-of-print Mid-Life Confidential: The Rock Bottom Remainders Tour America with Three Chords and an Attitude.

Some things never change: Barry was elected class clown by his Pleasantville High School class in 1965.

Barry got his start in journalism at the Daily Local News in West Chester, Pennsylvania, then worked as a business writing consultant before joining the Miami Herald in 1983.

Attempts to convert Barry's humor to the screen have been less than memorable. The early '90s CBS sitcom based on two of his books and starring Harry Anderson, Dave's World, was short-lived; the spring 2002 release Big Trouble, starring Tim Allen, didn't fare well at the box office. Barry did, however, get a cameo in the latter.

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    1. Hometown:
      Miami, Florida
    1. Date of Birth:
      July 3, 1947
    2. Place of Birth:
      Armonk, New York
    1. Education:
      B.A. in English, Haverford College, 1969
    2. Website:

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Sort by: Showing all of 4 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 22, 2012

    If you've never read Dave Barry, start here.

    I have read 80% of his humorous books. What a marvelous writer! I had the whole Alaska Airlines waiting section in stitches because I couldn't stop laughing. When I'm upset, I always go to my library, and pick out a Dave Barry book. No library is complete without a few of them. Can't help but wonder what it must be like to live under the same roof with a mind like his. Don't deprive yourself any longer. Read his books.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 4, 2000

    This book for college students...

    I have enjoyed this compilation of Mr. Barry's for many years, since working to edit his material from its conception when he was a well known local columnist in the Philadelphia area. The work done by Owl to my original author's material displays Mr. Barry prior to his winning the Pulitzer Prize and his television show (this book is a must read for the writers and producers.) The article on Math is a laugh aloud, hilarious amusing statement that drew some wonderful letters, proving that there is a Santa Claus. A book for hugging and laughing, I think of Mr. Barry as The Man Who Knew Too Much. He proves it again and again, wonderfully edited by the people at Owl as a paperback. The original title was 'Bad Habits,' a Doubleday hardback. This version is much better.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 22, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted October 27, 2008

    No text was provided for this review.

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