Thursday, August 03, 2006

Book-A-Day #15 (8/1): Dave Barry's Money Secrets by Dave Barry

And so I continue on my path of reading books with very little serious value to them in an attempt to decompress from World Fantasy.

This is the latest book by a guy who was a bit funnier when he was writing regular newspaper columns. (Not vastly funnier, but Dave Barry's Money Secrets is not Barry in top form.) It's very silly, and contains nothing useful whatsoever.

Barry's full-length books can be hit or miss; when he's actually interacting with the outside world (as in books like Dave Barry Does Japan), he's at his best. The books that are generated by his sitting in his office and thinking of booger jokes (like this one) are generally less successful. I also think the discipline of a weekly column was good for him; he developed running jokes and recurring column topics (Ask Mr. Language Person, exploding toilets, setting Barbie's hair on fire, etc.), and interacted with his readership. Writing a whole book of this kind of light, silly humor straight out tends to leave it detached from anything solid, and consequently less funny.

But this was a very amusing way to kill a couple of hours, and the photo-captions alone are almost worth the price of the book. Just don't expect anything deep or meaningful from it, and you'll be happy.

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