Review: Best.State.Ever. — A Florida Man Defends His Homeland, by Dave Barry

Posted: October 19, 2016 in Book Reviews, Humor
Tags: , , , , , , ,

Best State Ever, by Dave BarryBest.State.Ever., by Dave Barry. (New York: Putnam’s, 2016, $27.00, 229 pp.)

Every now and then I take a break from reading science fiction and heavy nonfiction and dive into some fluff, something purely humorous with no pretensions of substance. Which brings us to Dave Barry’s latest, Best.State.Ever.: A Florida Man Defends His Homeland.

When I saw the book’s garish cover, given that I’ve always enjoyed Barry’s writing, my fascination with the weird and grotesque, and Florida’s well deserved reputation as home of the twisted and demented — it’s the only state with its own Fark tag — I went “Oh yeah!” and picked up the book, which covers Barry’s travels to various oddball Florida communities (yes, that is a bit redundant) and tourist attractions.

Barry doesn’t disappoint. In Best.State.Ever., despite its being a very slight book — 229 pages, but with wide page margins (that is, a lot of “white space”), a lot of deliberately tacky, low quality photos interspersed with the text, and very wide leading (space between the lines) — Barry delivers the goods. Parts of the book are funnier than hell, and the book is not entirely substance free: Barry delivers occasional insightful political and social comments along with the humor.

Here’s an example, regarding a trendy nightclub in Miami:

Hanging over our heads are speakers the size of Porta-Potties. They’re emitting the musical stylings of tonight’s celebrity DJ, who is known as Alesso. I am not going to get into my usual rant about ‘celebrity DJs,’ a concept that utterly baffles me inasmuch as we’re talking about people who are playing recorded music, which does not require any more musical talent than operating a microwave oven, in the sense that you could train a reasonably bright Labrador retriever to perform either task, yet somehow these DJs are international celebrities who jet around the world getting huge sums of money to play recorded music THAT THEY DIDN’T EVEN RECORD AND MEANWHILE REAL MUSICIANS WHO CAN PLAY ACTUAL INSTRUMENTS ARE STARVING.

Yep. Nailed it.

If you’re looking for some light reading, check out Best.State.Ever. It’s the funniest thing I’ve read in ages.

Recommended.

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Comments
  1. Thanks for your review of this book. I recently got a copy of it and wondered if I should start reading it or not. Your quote and estimation up the book

    Like

  2. In using a tablet, the former post could not be edited. The word “up” should be corrected to “of” so please correct that😃.

    Also know your review convinced me there is more than just than lol’s in Dave Barry’s “Best State Ever.”

    Like

    • Yow! Wonders never cease — a grammar mistake! Seriously, I got used to publishing first drafts while I was working for my college newspaper back in the ’70s (no competent editor) and fell into a bad habit of a lifetime.

      Thanks for pointing this out. Every now and then I look at something I posted in months or years past, and my reaction is almost invariably “Yow!”

      Liked by 1 person

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