Dave Barry is from Mars and Venus

Dave Barry

Book - 1997

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Location Call Number   Status
2nd Floor 817.54/Barry Checked In
New York : Crown 1997.
Main Author
Dave Barry (-)
Item Description
Collection of previously published columns.
Physical Description
269 p. : ill
  • Acknowledgments
  • Introduction
  • I Am Now a Trained Eggbeater
  • The Avenging Death Killer of Doom
  • Losing Face
  • Weight Loss Through Anti-Gravity
  • The Hot Seat
  • The Pilgrims Were Turkeys
  • How to Cure the Drug Problem
  • Don't Know Much About History
  • This Poet Don't Know It
  • The Medical Boom
  • Gobble, Gobble, Eeeeeeeeek!
  • Message from the Stars
  • Ready to Wear
  • Fore Play
  • Warp Speed
  • Dashing Through the Snow
  • Mush!
  • Something in the Air
  • Wheel of Misfortune
  • This One Will Kill You
  • The Fat Lady Sings
  • Borrinnng!
  • Let's Do Lunch
  • The Lobster Rebellion
  • Animal Rights
  • Our National Pastime
  • Here Comes the Bride
  • The Cigar Avenger
  • The Incredible Shrinking Brain
  • Road Warriors
  • Absolute Madness
  • Planet of the Apes
  • Good for What Ails You
  • Eureka!
  • Beeware
  • The New Mad Science
  • My Summer Vacation
  • My Son the Teenage Driver
  • Invasion of the Killer Lawyers
  • Boy Genius
  • No Respect
  • The Name Game
  • Born to Be Jerks
  • The People's Court
  • Tuned In, Tuned Off
  • Snuggle Bear Must Die!
  • Whupping Mr. Whipple
  • Beware the Eagle Eye
  • Brain Sludge
  • Dude, Read All About it!
  • Invasion of the Tree Sweep
  • Food Fight
  • Speed Trap
  • The Ham Terrorist
  • I Am Not a Crook
  • Dave Meets the Death Tree
  • Up a Tree
  • One Potato, Two Potato ...
  • The Evil Eye
  • Conflict Management
  • Mr. Dave's Beauty Tips
  • Stealing the Show
Review by Booklist Review

No, syndicated columnist Barry isn't trying to take over John Gray's franchise (the Mars-and-Venus "solution" to the war between the sexes); he merely covets Gray's place on the best-seller lists. (An introduction discussing other "grabber" titles panderingly considered for this column collection is a hoot!) Having explored guys, gifts, and cyberspace in recent books, Barry covers the waterfront here: he boldly (but foolishly) joins a team of future Olympic synchronized swimmers in the pool in response to a challenge; checks out laser tag; appears on Wheel of Fortune; runs for president; and expresses himself on history, politics, culture, various insects, and the aforementioned war between the sexes in pungent prose, plus occasional poetry and drama. Although Dave's Worldthe CBS sitcom loosely based on the realities (family, friends, Miami Herald column) behind Barry's columns--was not renewed, the show may have expanded the readership for his vaguely twisted brand of humor. --Mary Carroll

From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Review by Publisher's Weekly Review

Those not fortunate enough to live in cities where Barry's columns are syndicated have a special treat in this newest collection (following Dave Barry in Cyberspace). As his fans will expect, the pieces are delightful. Aided by readers worldwide who sent him copies of news articles about bizarre happenings, the Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist presents stories about dead sheep found in New Zealand treetops and the activities of decapitated cockroaches. He also takes on some of his pet hates, like opera (which, he maintains, killed an okapi in a Danish zoo) and lobsters (which, in his view, look like large insects and may become even more ominous because scientists are testing Prozac on them). A highlight is one of Barry's reader surveys on the most irritating TV commercials, the runaway winner being Mr. Whipple squeezing the Charmin. The least entertaining pieces are Barry's self-deprecating essays on his failures at such varied sports as synchronized swimming and snowboarding. But even these have their charming moments, and Barry has another success here. Photos. Author tour. (Oct.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Review by Library Journal Review

For once, the promotion says it best: "Dave Barry reveals the shocking secret of his biplanetary androgyny in a transparent attempt to get on some afternoon talk shows and sell a few extra copies of the latest collection of his funniest syndicated columns." (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

(c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Review by Kirkus Book Review

Syndicated columnist and clowning Pulitzer-nik Barry (Dave Barry in Cyberspace, 1996, etc.) is back with another series of columns, regular as an equinox and admittedly starting to strain for a decent title (``A lot of the really good ones are taken. Thin Thighs in 30 Days, for example. Also The Bible''). As any certified funster must, Barry zeroes in on little events of daily life, such quotidian subjects as lawyers, doctors, aging, marriage, Thanksgiving, O.J. Simpson, and splashing around with US Synchronized Swimming National Team One. He may be getting a little weak in the memory department. ``To be honest,'' he admits, ``I had completely forgotten that in a former life I was Mozart,'' and he's concerned about the effects of his OMBS (``Older Male Brain Shrinkage''). There are, indeed, signs of maturity: ``Booger'' jokes are scarce; they're replaced by ``poop'' jokes. Exploding toilets are covered, too. Barry expends precious shrinking brain power in rearranging the letters of proper names: Winston Churchill can yield ``Hurls Cow Chin Lint,'' he tells us. (He may be pleased to learn that his own name can be rearranged to ``Verry Baad,'' which has kind of rap flavor.) Alert readers supply him with prime fodder from diverse new sources so that he gets to label riffs with his favorite tag line, ``I am not making this up,'' and advance them with the rim shot, ``No, seriously, folks.'' They aren't seamless and certainly not weighty, but Barry's concoctions still deliver. As he says about a completely different subject (bug brains, if you must know), his humor ``is not as simple as we thought it was before we started to think about it.'' Barry remains a formidable practitioner of journalistic silliness. ``Ha!'' some readers may say. Some, differing, may retort, ``Ha ha!'' Others may simply laugh. (photos, not seen) (Author tour)

Copyright (c) Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

Introduction   First, a few words about the title.   It isn't easy, coming up with book titles. A lot of the really good ones are taken. Thin Thighs in 30 Days, for example. Also The Bible.   Another restriction was that the publisher wanted a title with my name in it. Over the years, most of my book titles have had my name in them (Dave Barry Turns 40, Dave Barry Turns 41, Dave Barry Develops a Nasal Polyp, etc.). I realize this sounds egotistical, but it's not my idea. I'd be a lot happier if the book titles had a name with more appeal to the mass public, like "Stephen King" or "The Beatles." If it wasn't for the potential legal hassles, this book would be called something like Develop Washboard Abs in One Hour with John Grisham and Madonna (As Seen on Oprah).   Anyway, the first title actually considered for this book was Another Damn Dave Barry Book. I liked that one, because it was punchy, yet at the same time it said absolutely nothing. But then Crown changed its mind and decided against this title, presumably on the grounds that the word "damn" would offend some people, who would therefore not buy the book. Of course you could argue that this was a good reason to use the title, because people who'd be offended by the word "damn" would probably suffer cerebral hemorrhages if they read the book's actual contents.   But Another Damn Dave Barry Book was definitely out. Instead, Crown wanted to use Dave Barry Exposes Himself, featuring a cover photo of me wearing only an overcoat, which I would be holding open to display my body, with my strategic parts covered by the title (insert your font-size joke here). After a certain amount of hemming and hawing, as well as faxing, I rejected this title. My argument was that the cover concept was a stale old sight gag, but the real reason was that I didn't want to expose my body I do not have Washboard Abs; I have Stealth Abs, protected from detection by a strategic layer of radar-absorbing flab.   For a while my editor at Crown, Betty Prashker, tried to argue me into accepting Dave Barry Exposes Himself.   "The way we see it," she said, "every time you write something, you're exposing yourself."   This is the kind of thing editors can say, secure in the knowledge that they won't be appearing on a book cover wearing only an open overcoat.   But I was firm in my opposition. And thus began a spate of title brainstorming. My agent, Al Hart, came up with what I thought was a winner--Dave Barry Wants to Chew Your Hair--but Crown was not receptive. Crown also rejected one of mine that I thought beautifully captured the spirit not only of this book, but virtually my entire body of work: Armpit Noises from the Heart. I also had no luck with:   Who Are You Calling Immature? By Dave "Booger" Barry   Here are some of the other titles that didn't make it:   While You Were Holding Down a Real Job, Dave Barry Was Writing This A Funny Title Goes Here Dave Barry Lowers His Standards Even More How to Remain Sophomoric in the Coming Millennium This Book Is All True And Other Lies by Dave Barry This Book Has Nothing to Do with the O.J. Trial Humor Writers Who Run with Wolves The Wisdom of Dave Barry Would Be a Really Short Book, So We Printed This One Instead   And of course:   Moby Dave   But none of these was acceptable to everybody. Finally, just when it was beginning to look as though we'd never come up with a title, and the book would never get published--which would be a tragedy for civilization--we agreed on Dave Barry Is from Mars and Venus. It combines the two most essential elements of a classic book title:   Nobody has any idea what it means.   I don't have to get naked for the cover.   In addition to a title, this book also has contents, and I'd like to say a few words about them. Mostly what you will find in this book are short essays on a wide variety of important topics that are of concern to the informed, concerned citizen, such as turkey rectums. Because of the breadth of topics I cover in my oeuvre,1 people often ask me what methodology I use in my research and writing. Here it is:   After a hearty breakfast, I scan the Miami Herald and other major daily newspapers, looking for important news developments and making mental notes. ("Huh!" is my exact phrasing.)   Lunch.   I fire up my laptop computer and, after some thought, type out the subject, or "topic idea," of an essay, such as: "Robot cockroaches."   Nap.   I fire my laptop computer back up and start "fleshing out" my topic idea by developing possible themes for discussion and amplification ("Robot cockroaches--a bad idea?").   Lunch.   At this point, heeding the old maxim that "all work and no play makes Jack Nicholson try to kill his family with an ax," I generally knock off for the day, only to return the next day and start the whole "grind" all over again, taking a harshly critical look at my work output from the day before, revising and polishing it, not stopping until the words convey precisely the message that I have formulated in my mind's eye ("Robot cockroaches--a bad idea? Or what?").   Sometimes I also do field research. For example, in researching the essays in this book, I climbed a giant scary tree in a beaver-infested area; experienced Total Brain Lockup while competing on the TV show Wheel of Fortune; played the role of a corpse in an opera in Eugene, Oregon; got hit by a car; nearly drowned with the U.S. Synchronized Swimming National Team; became the only person I know of to be sent to the emergency room with a laser-tag injury; threw up in an F-16 exceeding the speed of sound; and, of course, set fire to my toilet.   I'm not trying to impress you; it's my job to do this kind of research. I'm no different from other leading columnists such as George Will or William Safire, both of whom set fire to their toilets on virtually a daily basis.   Why do we do these things? I can't speak for Bill and George, but as for myself, I do them because I believe--call me an idealist if you want--that even in this incredibly complex global society, one lone person, using only his mind and the power of information, can make a difference.   And I definitely do not want that person to be me.   Excerpted from Dave Barry Is from Mars and Venus by Dave Barry All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.