DAVE BARRY HITS BELOW THE BELTWAY by Dave Barry

DAVE BARRY HITS BELOW THE BELTWAY

KIRKUS REVIEW

Dave Barry has written more than a score of funny books, a full 69% of them bearing the words “Dave Barry” in the title (Dave Barry Turns 50, 1998, etc.). Now, maintaining Dave Barry’s high standards, Dave Barry turns political pundit, employing Dave Barry’s firm grip on matters governmental as well as a lot of other foolishness.

We are assured that this profoundly cogent text is totally research-free. That leaves plenty of room for everything we must know about Washington’s ways. Naturally, this includes a quick history of civilization through the birth of the nation. As Dave Barry notes, the colonists “had dared squeeze the tube of independence . . . and there was to be no putting it back.” Later, a “low point came in 1967, when the tinder box of urban unrest reached the boiling point.” Not since the late Bill Nye has there been such elegant historical syntax. Barry’s intimate knowledge of governmental organization surely qualifies him for a Cabinet post, perhaps at the Department of Infrastructure (which, we learn, was created in error instead of “Yarn Safety Week”). Helpfully, there’s a strangely familiar version of the Constitution. Perhaps it’s the one carried in Senator Byrd’s vest pocket; perhaps it’s the prevalent usage of “shall” regarding interns, the Supreme Court, and other objects of national derision. Concluding, for little discernible reason, with much ado about Florida, there’s some courtroom dialogue worthy of the Marx Brothers. The author suggests requiring political candidates, like race-car drivers, to wear the logos of their corporate sponsors. Finally, he advises us to simply consider the federal government as an extravagant entertainment we’ve paid plenty for. For full enjoyment, ignore all the references to the Giant Prehistoric Zucchini.

Dave Barry Is Still At It. Laughing will only encourage him—but that would be okay.

Pub Date: Oct. 9th, 2001
ISBN: 0-375-50219-X
Page count: 224pp
Publisher: Random House
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15th, 2001




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