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You Can Date Boys When You're Forty: Dave Barry on Parenting and Other Topics He Knows Very Little About

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Overview

A brilliantly funny exploration of the twin mysteries of parenthood and families from the Pulitzer Prize winner and New York Times–bestselling author of Insane City.
 
In his New York Times–bestselling I’ll Mature When I’m Dead, Dave Barry embarked on the treacherous seas of adulthood, to hilarious results. What comes next? Parenthood, of course, and families.

In uproarious, brand-new pieces, Barry ...

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You Can Date Boys When You're Forty: Dave Barry on Parenting and Other Topics He Knows Very Little About

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Overview

A brilliantly funny exploration of the twin mysteries of parenthood and families from the Pulitzer Prize winner and New York Times–bestselling author of Insane City.
 
In his New York Times–bestselling I’ll Mature When I’m Dead, Dave Barry embarked on the treacherous seas of adulthood, to hilarious results. What comes next? Parenthood, of course, and families.

In uproarious, brand-new pieces, Barry tackles everything from family trips, bat mitzvah parties and dating (he’s serious about that title: “When my daughter can legally commence dating—February 24, 2040—I intend to monitor her closely, even if I am deceased”) to funeral instructions (“I would like my eulogy to be given by William Shatner”), the differences between male and female friendships, the deeper meaning of Fifty Shades of Grey, and a father’s ultimate sacrifice: accompanying his daughter to a Justin Bieber concert (“It turns out that the noise teenaged girls make to express happiness is the same noise they would make if their feet were being gnawed off by badgers”).

Let’s face it: families not only enrich our lives every day, they drive us completely around the bend. Thank goodness we have Dave Barry as our guide!

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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble

"Grammar, sex, camels, women, brain surgery, sex with women, how to become a professional author, airlines, Justin Bieber, and death" is how Dave Barry described the subjects of his new book, but even that hodge-podge lineup renders only an imperfect snapshot of this humor book's weird diversity. Indefatigable as ever, this shrewd humorist has made a career of stumbling into subjects like a visitor from a distant planet. In this case, Fifty Shades of Grey and being the Baby Boomer father of a teenage daughter serve as spurs to hilarious, yet strangely wise riffs. Sometimes laughter is the best parenting therapy.

Publishers Weekly
12/09/2013
Columnist and humor author Barry (I’ll Mature When I’m Dead) includes nine never-before-published essays in this characteristically hilarious collection. Though not only about parenting (Viagra commercials, horseback riding, cremation and grammar are just a few of the topics addressed), Barry is particularly sidesplitting when describing his role as the 65-year-old dad of a 13-year-old daughter. His description of taking his teen to a Justin Bieber concert is brilliantly funny (he compares the young rock star to the GEICO gecko) and will resonate with parents everywhere. His piercing critique of the bestselling Fifty Shades of Grey contains on-target observations about the mysteries of popularity and success. A lengthier travel essay on a trip to Israel, “Seeking Wi-Fi in the Holy Land,” which he takes with his daughter and wife (both of whom are Jewish though he is not), ranges from humorous rants about rappelling a cliff or riding camels with Bedouins to more somber observations on the weighty responsibilities of parenthood. As always, Barry’s humor takes unexpected turns, whether he’s focusing on the penis bone of a walrus, the “wussification of American men,” or on how males and females communicate. Parents and non-parents alike will find plenty of laughs in the author’s latest collection, which, as he states in his introduction, is “about many things.” Agent: Amy Berkower, Writers House. (Mar.)
Kirkus Reviews
2013-12-22
Another wide-ranging collection of funny essays about parenting--and "grammar, sex, camels, women, brain surgery, sex with women, how to become a professional author, airlines, Justin Bieber and death"--by best-selling humorist Barry (Insane City, 2013, etc.). The author has made a career of chronicling his life (and those of his now-adult son and teenage daughter) in his syndicated newspaper column and several essay collections. The format is as familiar as an episode of a police procedural: Barry offers ludicrous yet authoritatively delivered advice and glumly acknowledges that following it might get you arrested. Although parenting is well-worn fodder for comedians, only Barry would coolly share his idea to install traps around his home to capture any teenage boys who would dare watch TV from the same sofa as his daughter and release the boys ("nothing more than short men") into the Everglades. The author provides useful information for parents of tweens and teens--e.g., "BFF stands for 'Best Friends Forever.' This is a term that girls my daughter's age use to describe essentially everyone they know"--as well as not-so-helpful advice on how to perform emergency first aid: "Keep the victim calm by administering several brisk facial slaps and shouting, ‘CALM DOWN, DAMMIT! DO YOU WANT TO DIE??'…When the ambulance arrives, ask the paramedics if you can operate the siren." The book is also part travelogue and part writing guide, as well as the author's detailed, pre-planned funeral program ("IX. Lucky Seat Announcement: The Audience will be instructed to look under their seats. Under one of them will be a small container of my ashes, which the audience member can take home"). A mishmash, but even those who don't have children and have never lived in Miami or searched for a Wi-Fi connection in the Israeli desert will appreciate Barry's lighthearted absurdity.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780399165948
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA)
  • Publication date: 3/4/2014
  • Pages: 240
  • Sales rank: 70,217
  • Product dimensions: 6.20 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Dave Barry’s recent bestselling books include Insane City, I’ll Mature When I’m Dead, and Dave Barry’s History of the Millennium (So Far). He lives in Coral Gables, 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

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( 9 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 9 Customer Reviews
  • Posted May 14, 2014

    more from this reviewer

    I'm not a big reader. In fact, I loath it for the most part. H

    I'm not a big reader. In fact, I loath it for the most part. However, there is something in the way Dave Barry writes that I actually enjoy. I've been brought to tears on several occasions by his humor. Tears of laughter that is. I'm not converted to book worm yet, but I have read most of Dave's books. This one is as good as the others.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 27, 2014

    Dave Barry at his funniest!

    Parents everywhere can relate to the author's stories about raising a teenager. His anecdotes are hysterically funny, especially since parents have experienced many of them first-hand! We all need a humorous perspective on life with teens. Purchase this book and get many hearty laughs! (We all need that!)

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 11, 2014

    Midnight wolf

    OMG what did the public do to deserve such torture?

    1 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 7, 2014

    HELLO

    I HATED IT IM GOING TO TELL ALL MY FRIENDS AND FAMMILY TO NEVER GET A NOOK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    (READ OVER AGIAN IN FUNNY VIOCE IF NOT BEFORE:) )
    (JUST KIDDING!!!!!!!!!!!)

    IF MY SPELLING IS WRONG THEN IT'S JUST WRONG DEAL WHITH IT!

    1 out of 13 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted July 4, 2014

    Hilarious!!

    Dave Barry does it again, this time by addressing the new circumstances of his life (i.e., a teenage daughter). Several chapters had me laughing so hard I had tears running down my face!!! Highly recommended!!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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    Posted April 7, 2014

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    Posted September 12, 2014

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    Posted June 2, 2014

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    Posted July 4, 2014

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