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Dave Barry's Complete Guide to Guys

Dave Barry's Complete Guide to Guys

4.3 18
by Dave Barry

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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. But that has not stopped Dave Barry from writing an entire book about them, dealing frankly and semi-thoroughly with such important guy issues as:

  • Scratching
  • Why the average guy can remember who


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. But that has not stopped Dave Barry from writing an entire book about them, dealing frankly and semi-thoroughly with such important guy issues as:

  • Scratching
  • Why the average guy can remember who won the 1960 World Series but not necessarily the names of all his children
  • 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"

Editorial Reviews

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
Wayne N. Garth
Going gonzo on time-tested verities--that guys love gadgets, beer, sex, and sports to the exclusion of all else--exaggerator extraordinaire Barry expatiates on the essentials of guyness. It is distinct from manliness, as illustrated by the following popular guy humor: "Men Went to the Moon, but Guys Invented Mooning." In Barry-verse, guys are immature, appetite driven, uncommunicative, and vastly entertained by bodily emitted noises; they invented business travel, the office betting pool, and bungee-jumping; their all-purpose expression of eloquence is "You Suck!" ; and the grand unifying experiences of guydom are a passion for things that go boom and a wincing memory of that blow to the 'nads. A little earthy, a lotta fun, these sophmoric musings maintain the reputation of the bombastic booster of balderdash.
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
From the Publisher
"[A] laugh-out-loud book."

--San Francisco Examiner

From the Paperback edition.

Product Details

Random House Value Publishing, Incorporated
Publication date:

Read an Excerpt

The Role of Guys
in History
Men Went to the Moon,
but Guys Invented Mooning

Guys have played an important role in history, but this role has not been
given the attention it deserves, because nobody wrote it down. Guys are
not conscientious about writing. Take thank-you notes. When a couple gets
married, the bride very quickly—sometimes right after her new husband
passes out in their honeymoon-suite hot tub—starts composing personalized
notes thanking their wedding guests for all the lovely gifts (". . . I
didn't know they even made a traveling case for the Salad Shooter").
The bride will keep this up until she has written every single guest; if
it was a really big wedding, she may still be thanking people after her
divorce ("Aunt Esther, the meat fork is beautiful, and I expect to get
many happy years of use from it once the surgeons extract it from Roger").
Very few guys write thank-you notes, or any other kind of note. Guys would
probably commit a lot more kidnappings if they weren't required to write
ransom notes.

My point is that, because guys don't write things down, they are not well
represented in the history books. You'll find countless references to men,
however, because men like to record every detail of their lives, for
posterity. Alexander the Great, for example, kept a diary, so that today
we can read, in his own handwriting, exactly what he was doing on any
given day, as is shown by these actual excerpts:

327 B.C., Nov. 4—Cloudy today. Conquered Asia Minor.
324 B.C., Jan. 6—Note: Find out what "B.C." stands for.
323 B.C., May 17—Died at an earlyage.

But what about the average guy in Alexander the Great's army? What about
his contributions to history? Yes, it is important that Alexander extended
the influence of such legendary Greek philosophers as Aristotle throughout
most of the civilized world, thus significantly affecting the development
of Western thought and culture to this very day; but is it not also
important that, at the same time, some of his lowly foot soldiers were
perfecting the Rubber Spear Trick, or determining that the letters in
"Aristotle" can be rearranged to spell "A Tit Loser"?1
That is the kind of historical guy accomplishment I'm going to explore in
this chapter, starting with a discussion of:
Prehistoric Guys

Prehistory was a very difficult time for humans. Hostile, vicious,
person-eating predators roamed the Earth. Disease was rampant. Mortality
rates were horrific. The automatic bank teller was still only a dream.
Back then the clan was the basic unit2 of society, with the roles of males
and females clearly defined. The females cared for the young and gathered
roots, which they would soak in water,
1Also "Tater Silo."
210 clans 5 one tribe.
then peel, then painstakingly pound for hours between two heavy rocks, and
finally throw away. "We may be primitive, but we're not stupid enough to
eat roots," was their feeling.

Thus the basic food-gathering responsibility fell on the shoulders of the
males, who would go off for days at a time to hunt the mighty dinosaur.
This was hard work. They had to dig an enormous deep hole, then disguise
it by covering it with frail branches,3 then hide in the bushes, waiting
for a mighty dinosaur to come along and fall into the trap. The hunters
often waited for long periods, because, unbeknownst to them, dinosaurs had
become extinct several million years earlier.

So the males sat around a lot. Some of them eventually became fidgety and
went on to develop agriculture, invent primitive tools,4 etc. But some
males—these were the original guys—really liked sitting around. Eventually
they stopped bothering to dig the hole. They'd just go out into the woods
and sit.

"It's not easy, trying to catch dinosaurs," they would tell people,
especially their wives. "But if we don't do it, who will?"
3Sometimes they would also use a false beard.
4Such as the stone Weed Whacker.
They never helped with the roots.

Sitting around for no reason under the guise of being engaged in
productive work was the first real guy contribution to human civilization,
forming the underlying basis for many modern institutions and activities
such as fishing, sales conferences, highway repair, the federal
government, and "Customer Service."

This is not to say that prehistoric guys did nothing but sit around. They
also invented an activity that has become one of the most dominant forms
of guy behavior, now accounting for an estimated 178 trillion guy-hours
per year in the United States alone.5 The activity I am referring to, of
course, is guys scratching their personal regions. And when I say
"scratching," I am not talking about a couple of quick, discreet swipes
with the fingernails to relieve a momentary itch. I'm talking about an
activity that guys spend way more time and energy on than they do on, for
example, home maintenance.

Walk around any populated area and you'll see dozens, maybe hundreds, of
guys engaged in scratching themselves. Some will try to be subtle, but
usually once they get going they completely lose track of where they are.

5Source: Phyllis Schlafly.
long they're rooting around in their pants using both hands, garden
implements, etc., totally oblivious to the world around them. This can
lead to trouble.

first mate on the titanic: Sir, don't you think we should do something
about it? Maybe change direction? Sir? Sir?
captain: (. . . scratchscratchscratchscratchscratchscratch . . .)
One time in the 1970s I was watching a Philadelphia Phillies game on
television, and at a key moment the Phillies' manager, Danny Ozark (who
looked exactly like a guy named "Danny Ozark") walked to the pitcher's
mound for a conference. Danny had his back to the camera, and his right
hand, seemingly acting on its own, sort of moseyed around to his rear-end
region and started exploring, really probing, looking as though maybe
Danny had lost some vital documents in there. The hand became so energetic
that finally even the TV announcers had to start laughing. This was a guy
in the middle of a baseball stadium and on TV, with the game at a critical
juncture, and still his number-one priority was scratching himself. He was
a guy's guy, that Danny Ozark.

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.

Brief Biography

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

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Dave Barry's Complete Guide to Guys 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 18 reviews.
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DesC More than 1 year ago
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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twinsfan36 More than 1 year ago
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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Locky More than 1 year ago
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.
Guest More than 1 year ago
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.