Dave Barry’s History of the Millennium (So Far) (Audiobook) by Dave Barry, Patrick Frederic

Dave Barry's History of the Millennium (So Far)Dave Barry’s History of the Millennium (So Far)

by Dave Barry, Patrick Frederic
Unabridged Audiobook, 4 hrs., 29 mins.
Penguin Audio, 2007

Read: April 10, 2017


Back in high school, I worked at a public library (shock, right?), and I kept shelving this book — Dave Barry Slept Here, and eventually succumbed and took it home — several times. I fell in love with Barry’s humor, and read him a lot over the next decade — every book, as many columns as I could find, etc., etc. But I eventually stopped, for no good reason that I can think of (it’s probably not Harry Anderson‘s fault) — and have really only read his novels since then.

Still, when I saw this audiobook on the library’s site, it was an automatic click — without even reading the description. This is essentially a reprinting of his “Year in Review” columns for the first few years of this millennium and a review of the previous 1,000 years of human history.

It was hilarious. Just that simple. There’s nothing more to say, really.

In the beginning Frederic played it straight — which surprised me a bit, but I liked the effect. A serious reading of Barry’s goofiness worked remarkably well. Later on, Frederic seemed to loosen up — he even did a couple of decent impressions. I really enjoyed his work on this.

Yeah, the humor’s a bit dated, but funny is funny. This is a great look back at the early part of the 21st Century (and before). I laughed a lot, remembered a few things, and generally had a good time with this.

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3.5 Stars

The Worst Class Trip Ever by Dave Barry

The Worst Class Trip Eve

The Worst Class Trip Eve http://www.davebarry.com/book-page.php?isbn13=9781484708491
by Dave Barry

Hardcover, 211 pg.
Disney-Hyperion, 2015

Read: May 19, 2015

There’s not a whole lot to say about this one — this is the story of some of clever (and yet dopey) 8th grade students from Miami on a field trip to Washington, D. C., who fall into a strange predicament involving international intrigue, kidnapping, an attack on the White House/President and very, very petty theft. The only other thing you need to know is that Dave Barry wrote it, so it’s goofy and very funny.

The humor is juvenile — even for Barry. Adults who remember the target audience, and can adjust their standards appropriately, should be able to chuckle at this few times. At the very least, you can appreciate the jokes. It’s perfect for the Middle Grade crowd, probably leaning towards the male perspective (or whatever the demographic is that appreciates flatulence-based humor). This is not to say that all kids won’t enjoy it — it’s just that it’ll score better with kids with a particular sense of humor.

It’s silly, fast-paced, some good action, and some ridiculous characters/plotlines. A lot of fun, definitely what anyone who read Big Trouble should expect from the author writing to MG audience. I’m glad I read it, but I suspect that my 11-year-old will enjoy it more than I did.

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3 Stars

Dusted-Off: Lunatics by Dave Barry, Alan Zweibel

LunaticsLunatics

by Dave Barry
Hardcover, 320 pg.
Putnam Adult,2012

How does one write a book like this? First, you take a couple of characters, that while not exactly people you can meet each day, are close enough that you can buy them as characters in a novel. Then you put them in a relatable, if exaggerated, bad situation. Then you let that situation spin wildly, and hilariously, out of control and right into a worse situation–and let that one spin wildly, and hilariously, out of control and right into another–and repeat. Several times.

If you do that juuuust right, you might come close to capturing the brilliantly wacky madness that is Lunatics.

More than once, I laughed, guffawed, choked, chuckled, cracked-up, cackled, and did a spit-take. I’m sure my wife was as glad I was done with the book as I was disappointed it was over–a day and a half of my very loud reactions to this book were little more than she could tolerate.

Find yourself a nice, secluded little spot and read this. Soon. Sooner, even.

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4 Stars

Insane City by Dave Barry

Insane CityInsane City by Dave Barry
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Ridiculous. Utterly Ridiculous. Which is what it was going for, so good on Barry.

I didn’t think it was as satisfying a novel as his first two solo works, bu the further I got into it, and the more out of control the plot got, the more I warmed to it and the more I laughed.

The ending’s fairly predictable, but pretty satisfying — and funny.

Lots of laughs to be had