Dave Barry's Complete Guide to Guys

( 18 )

Overview

"Dave Barry is one funny human."
San Francisco Examiner

For thousands of years, women have asked themselves: What is the deal with guys, anyway? What are they thinking? The answer, of course, is: virtually nothing. Deep down inside, guys are extremely shallow.

But that has not stopped Dave Barry from writing an entire book about them. If you're a guy—or if you're attempting ...

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Overview

"Dave Barry is one funny human."
San Francisco Examiner

For thousands of years, women have asked themselves: What is the deal with guys, anyway? What are they thinking? The answer, of course, is: virtually nothing. Deep down inside, guys are extremely shallow.

But that has not stopped Dave Barry from writing an entire book about them. If you're a guy—or if you're attempting to share a remote control with one—you need this book, because it deals frankly and semi-thoroughly with such important guy issues as:

Scratching
The role of guys in world history, including the heretofore-unknown relationship between the discovery of North America and golf
Why the average guy can remember who won the 1960 World Series, but not necessarily the names of all his children
The Noogie Gene
Why guys cannot simultaneously think and look at breasts
Secret guy orgasm-delaying techniques, including the Margaret Thatcher Method
Why guys prefer to believe that there is no such thing as a prostate
And much, much more

"Whether you're a guy—or attempting to share a bathroom with one—Barry has some wacky words of wisdom for you."
USA Today

In this wholly original book--except for one classic column on testosterone--Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Dave Barry explains why the American guy is not to be confused with a husband, father, hunk, or intellectual, and provides tips for women who want to better understand the species.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"[A] laugh-out-loud book."
—People

"AN AVERAGE OF THREE TO FOUR LAUGHS PER PAGE . . . DAVE BARRY IS ONE FUNNY HUMAN."
—San Francisco Examiner

USA Today
Whether you're a guy—or attempting to share a bathroom with one—Barry has some wacky words of wisdom for you.
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Unlike many previous books by Miami Herald humor columnist Barry, this is not a collection of newspaper pieces but an original work that poses the question, What is a guy? Barry's guy is given neither to macho domination nor to sensitive introspection (as a mere man might be); he likes mechanical things and pointless challenges for their own sake; he has no well-defined moral code but knows how to extemporize; he fails at communicating his inner feelings (if he has any). After presenting a scientific quiz with which a male can assess his ``guyness quotient,'' the author treats the biological nature, social development, medical concerns and domestic side of guys. He even provides a chapter for the woman who is contemplating having a relationship with such a creature. The dad who receives this winning piffle for Father's Day will ask, ``What'd you give me this for?'' (if he's a guy). Author tour. (May)
Library Journal
Books about women are published regularly throughout the year. However, books about guys (not to be confused with men) often are published just in time for Father's Day. This is because the guys who write these books suddenly remember it's time to earn a living. More likely, they are reminded by their editors (probably women) or their wives to earn a living. Barry's is an original work, not merely a collection of his columns. It's outrageously funny, fresh, and ribald. This is a real guy's book, covering the role of guys in history, their biological and social development, their medical concerns ("it's just a sprain"), and their domestic side, with a bonus essay on orgasms. [Previewed in Prepub Alert, LJ 1/95.] Comic novelist/screenwriter Friedman offers a witty but less hilarious book on the midlife travails of the slightly older guy (SOG). The SOG is concerned about enough bran, too many eggs, and when the medical profession will make up its mind about the prostate gland. This near-SOG reviewer is already uneasy with his new doctor, a mostly younger woman (MYW), whose attention is diverted annually to his prostate. Barry's book is destined to be a best seller. Friedman's may end up in the bargain bin sooner.-Joe Accardi, Northeastern Illinois Univ. Lib., Chicago
Bill Franzen
"Dave Barry's Complete Guide to Guys" is not a collection of previously published pieces, except for one on testosterone. It's an original work containing the zany, irreverent observations of a flippantly outrageous guy who won't stop spoofing until the nonstop yuks fracture your funny bone....he's best enjoyed in small doses; that is, after all, how he usually appears, in his Miami Herald column, which is carried by hundreds of newspapers around the country. -- New york Times
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780449910269
  • Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 4/28/1996
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 224
  • Sales rank: 249,427
  • Product dimensions: 5.39 (w) x 8.24 (h) x 0.44 (d)

Meet the Author

Dave Barry is a professional journalist.  In this capacity, he has test-fired a potato cannon, driven the world's fastest lawnmower, barfed in an F-16 fighter jet, played the part of a corpse in an opera, picked his son up at junior high school in the Oscar Mayer Wienermobile, and used a sparking Barbie doll to set fire to a pair of underpants on national television.  But he also has a frivolous side.

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:

Read an Excerpt

Are You a Guy?
Take This Scientific Quiz to Determine Your Guyness Quotient

1. Alien beings from a highly advanced society visit the Earth, and you are the first human they encounter. As a token of intergalactic friendship, they present you with a small but incredibly sophisticated device that is capable of curing all disease, providing an infinite supply of clean energy, wiping out hunger and poverty, and permanently eliminating oppression and violence all over the entire Earth. You decide to:
a. Present it to the president of the United States.
b. Present it to the secretary general of the United Nations.
c. Take it apart.

2. As you grow older, what lost quality of your youthful life do you miss the most?
a. Innocence.
b. Idealism.
c. Cherry bombs.

3. When is it okay to kiss another male?
a. When you wish to display simple and pure affection without regard for narrow-minded social conventions.
b. When he is the pope. (Not  on the lips.)
c. When he is your brother and you are Al Pacino and this is the only really sportsmanlike way to let him know that, for business reasons, you have to have him killed.

4. What about hugging  another male?
a. If he's your father and at least one of you has a fatal disease.
b. If you're performing the Heimlich maneuver. (And even in this case, you should repeatedly shout: "I am just dislodging food trapped in this male's trachea! I am not in any way aroused!"
c. If you're a professional baseball player and a teammate hits a home run to win the World Series, you may hug him provided that (1) He is legally within the basepath, (2) Both of you are wearing protective cups, and (3) You also pound him fraternally with your fist hard enough to cause fractures.

5. Complete this sentence:  A funeral is a good time to a. ...remember the deceased and console his loved ones.
b. ...reflect upon the fleeting transience of earthly life.
c. ...tell the joke about the guy who has Alzheimer's disease and  cancer.

6. In your opinion, the ideal pet is:
a. A cat.
b. a dog.
c. A dog that eats cats.

7. You have been seeing a woman for several years. She's attractive and intelligent, and you always enjoy being with her. One leisurely Sunday afternoon the two of you are taking it easy — you're watching a football game; she's reading the papers — when she suddenly, out of the clear blue sky, tells you that she thinks she loves you, but she can no longer bear the uncertainty of not knowing where your relationship is going. She says she's not asking whether you want to get married; only whether you believe that you have some kind of future together. What do you say?
a. That you sincerely believe the two of you do have a future, but you don't want to rush it.
b. That although you also have strong feelings for her, you cannot honestly say that you'll be ready anytime soon to make a lasting commitment, and you don't want to hurt her by holding out false hope.
c. That you cannot believe  the Jets called a draw play on third and seventeen.

8. Okay, so you have decided that you truly love a woman and you want to spend the rest of your life with her — sharing the joys and sorrows, the triumphs and the tragedies, and all the adventures and opportunities that the world has to offer, come what may. How do you tell her?
a. You take her to a nice restaurant and tell her after dinner.
b. You take her for a walk on a moonlit beach, and you say her name, and when she turns to you, with the sea breeze blowing her hair and the stars in her eyes, you tell her.
c. Tell her what? 

9. One weekday morning your wife wakes up feeling ill and asks you to get your three children ready for school. Your first question to her is:
a. "Do they need to eat or anything?"
b. "They're in school  already?"
c. "There are three  of them?"

10. When is it okay to throw away a set of veteran underwear?
a. When it has turned the color of a dead whale and developed new holes so large that you're not sure which ones were originally intended for your legs.
b. When it is down to eight loosely connected underwear molecules and has to be handled with tweezers.
c. It is never ] okay to throw away veteran underwear. A real guy checks the garbage regularly in case somebody — and we are not naming names, but this would be his wife — is quietly trying to discard his underwear, which she is frankly jealous of, because the guy seems to have a more intimate relationship with it than with her.

11. What, in your opinion, is the most reasonable  explanation for the fact that Moses led the Israelites all over the place for forty years before they finally got to the Promised Land?
a. He was being tested.
b. He wanted them to really appreciate the Promised Land when they finally got there.
c. He refused to ask directions.

12. What is the human race's single greatest achievement?
a. Democracy.
b. Religion.
c. Remote control.

How to Score: Give yourself one point for every time you picked answer "c." A real guy would score at least 10 on this test. In fact, a ]real ] guy would score at least 15, because he would get the special five-point bonus for knowing the joke about the guy who has Alzheimer's disease ]and  cancer.

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Table of Contents

Introduction xi
Guys vs. Men
Are You a Guy? 3
Take This Scientific Quiz to Determine Your Guyness Quotient
1 The Role of Guys in History 13
Men Went to the Moon, but Guys Invented Mooning
2 The Biological Nature of Guys 33
Important Scientific Reasons Why They Act Like Jerks
3 The Social Development of Guys 55
Nature Alone Should Not Take the Rap
4 Tips for Women 75
How to Have a Relationship with a Guy
5 Guy Problems 93
The Pain. The Anguish
The Men's Room
6 Special Medical Concerns of the Guy
Or: "It's Just a Sprain" 123
7 Guys and Violence 151
The Curse of the Noogie Gene
8 The Domestic Side of Guys (With a Side Discussion on Orgasms) 171
Or: The Secret Truth About Why Guys Are Better at Math
Or: Where Standards Came From
Or: Perfectly Legitimate Reasons Why a Person Might Elect to Blow His Nose on His Laundry
Or: Let's Not Be So Darned Critical of Tapeworms
9 Guys in Action 193
Conclusion 221
The Aging Guy: Settling Down and Hurling Buicks
Future Guys of Tomorrow: Is There Hope for Humanity? (No.)
Index 234
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 18 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 18 Customer Reviews
  • Posted March 2, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Not quite what I was expecting..

    This book sounded so funny based on the other reviews; but when I got it, things were quite to the contrary. It was a little bit funny but really not worth your time or money.

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  • Posted January 9, 2011

    Loved it!

    If you read in public, get ready to be embarrassed. This book will start uncontrollable laughter to the point of tears.

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  • Posted May 9, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Quite possibly the funniest book every written

    I've read this book several times and it always makes me laugh. (There's nothing like sitting on the NY subway, reading an book, and laughing like an idiot with everyone looking at you.) Dave Barry has truly boiled down the sexes, especially males, to their essences. The chapter on men's public bathroom etiquette is particular hysterical...and true.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 8, 2000

    Oh so true

    This is one of the, if not the, funniest book I ever read. I was laughing aloud in public and was in tears at some points. If you enjoy Dave Barry, and you either are a guy or know one, you'll love this book.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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