Dave Barry’s Greatest Hits

If laughter is the best medicine, then DAVE BARRY’S GREATEST HITS ought to be a required prescription for anyone in need of healing. It is hard to read through this book without repeatedly laughing out loud. Barry’s subjects range from the big to the small, from the ironies of national politics to the impossibility of finding a parking space during the Christmas shopping season. Whether it is a discussion of popular culture, politics, or the simple facts of life in America, Barry’s commentary is both funny and insightful. He is an observer in a special class. Barry is at his best, however, when discussing the plight of the young urban professional, the baby boomer who has grown up and married and had children, but who still, in a secret part of his soul, dreams of being in a rock-and-roll band, even if the only gig the band can get is at a Tupperware Convention.

Much of Barry’s humor is based on the unexpected. Using both hyperbole and understatement to great advantage, he can take a simple subject, such as fixing a toilet or baiting a worm on a hook, and in just a few paragraphs turn it into a tour de force. He says the kind of things most people would like to say about junk mail or the Christmas Pageant, if only they could think of them. These selections from his syndicated column are short and easy to read. Keep this book next to the bedstand, take it along on a vacation, or give it as a gift to a convalescent--or to anyone who occasionally gets a case of the urban blues.