Dave Barry's Only Travel Guide You'll Ever Need

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Overview

"[Dave Barry] is one of the funniest people ever to tap tap on a PC. This new book is a riot."
THE PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER
Complete with maps, histories, quaint local facts, song lyrics, helpful hints on how to get through Customs, and tidbits from Dave Barry's own fond vacation nightmares, here is all you really need to know about travel, including: How to Speak a Foreign Language in Just 30 Minutes Without Necessarily Having Any Idea What You Are Talking About; Camping: Nature's...
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Dave Barry's Only Travel Guide You'll Ever Need

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Overview

"[Dave Barry] is one of the funniest people ever to tap tap on a PC. This new book is a riot."
THE PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER
Complete with maps, histories, quaint local facts, song lyrics, helpful hints on how to get through Customs, and tidbits from Dave Barry's own fond vacation nightmares, here is all you really need to know about travel, including: How to Speak a Foreign Language in Just 30 Minutes Without Necessarily Having Any Idea What You Are Talking About; Camping: Nature's Way of Promoting the Motel Industry; See the USA First! (While We Still Own Part of It), and more!

It took no time at all for Barry's travel guide to travel onto hardcover bestseller lists. Traveling into trade paperback, it's just in time to make a connection with the new hardcover, Dave Barry Does Japan. From the backroads of America to seeing the exotic sights of Europe, everything from air travel to camping is covered in this hilarious outing by the Pulitzer Prize-winning humorist.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
A distinctly minor effort by the Miami Herald columnist and author of such previous successes as Dave Barry's Greatest Hits , this guide works too hard for comic effect. There are strained references to inedible airline food, a ``Five Booger'' ranking from the ``Michelin Guide to How Snotty a Restaurant Is,'' Chicago as ``The City with a Great Big Butt.'' There are tired gags, one involving the translation of a phrase about ``the fish of your brother Raoul'' and another about using the same map for downtown Vienna, London and Berlin. But the book is not completely devoid of laughs: ``Akron: Meeting Yesterday's Challenges Tomorrow'' is cited as a typical article from an airline magazine. There is a clever parody of a highway historical marker; and a discussion of the problem of locating a tree in Oregon that doesn't have an ecologist wrapped around it. The book, however, is hardly sidesplitting. (Oct.)
Kirkus Reviews
Holder of a Pulitzer for funny commentary, Barry (Dave Barry Slept Here, 1989) follows the footsteps of Baedeker and Marco Polo and offers a travel book that is more current and just as useful. In a time-honored and noble tradition of comical assessments of the world away from home, Barry presents a light text, augmented with the customary cheesy charts, footnotes, and diagrams. (Maybe it's just coincidence, but the handy street-maps of Cairo, London, Berlin or Munich [one map], Vienna, Paris, and downtown Ireland all appear alarmingly similar.) There's advice on planning a trip (the author differs from his wife about packing a waffle iron), foreign languages, air travel, family travel (the best time to visit Disney World: 1962), and camping. There's a guide to all fifty states, Canada, and Mexico. Then there are also foreign countries, located in Europe. (See "How to Use a Bidet.") "Most of these countries," Barry astutely points out, "eventually realized the marketing advantage of not being so foreign." Little-known foreign fact: "England manufactures most of the world's airline food." Filled with shameless fabrication (we happen to know, because we checked the road atlas we got from the insurance company, that Alaska is not in Canada, for example), but Barry's lies, like all good comedy, are emblematic of some kind of truth or other. Besides, "you can trust us," he says. "We're a guidebook." The title is accurate. Get this travel guide and you'll never want another. Funny stuff.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780679406532
  • Publisher: Random House Audio Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 9/17/1991
  • Format: Cassette
  • Edition description: Abridged
  • Product dimensions: 4.34 (w) x 6.97 (h) x 0.78 (d)

Meet the Author

Dave Barry is a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist for the Miami Herald. He is the author of numerous bestsellers, including the recent Dave Barry Is from Mars and Venus. He lives in Miami, Florida.

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:

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
( 18 )
Rating Distribution

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Sort by: Showing all of 18 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 23, 2000

    Snickering your way through the U.S. of A (and beyond)

    This is one of my all-time favorite Dave Barry books, coming in maybe 2nd or 3rd on the list, and I am speaking as somebody who owns an embarrassing number of them. I think it ought to be funny to just about anyone (except the humor-impaired, of course), but the more one knows about the places mentioned, the funnier it is. The state-by-state summaries are particularly good.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 29, 2009

    Extremely Funny, very entertaining!

    I totally loved this book. I had trouble putting it down, but found I had to because my stomach muscles hurt so much from laughing. Just great stuff, very warped, very funny!
    Totally love Dave Barry!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 12, 2006

    Best of Barry

    I have had this book for two years and it is still funny every time I open it. You'll laugh so hard that you might consider going to the hospital. BUY THIS BOOK!!!!!!!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 18, 2006

    Hilarious! Describes Real Life Travel!

    Such as 'Sitting next to a man whose arm alone is the size of Roseanne' And ' Whichever lane you are driving in is always the slowest' I highly recommend this book. I was laughing until my sides started hurting!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 27, 2013

    Dated

    Still funny

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 19, 2011

    Fun read

    U

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  • Posted September 15, 2011

    Hands down funniest book I've ever read...

    ...apologies to Bill Cosby, Jerry Seinfeld and Ellen DeGeneres, but Barry knocks it out of the park, and into the drive, and crashes it into many innocent vehicles and unsuspecting properties along the way.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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    Posted November 2, 2010

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