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You Can Date Boys When You're Forty: Dave Barry on Parenting and Other Topics He Knows Very Little About [Kindle Edition]

Dave Barry
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (159 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $26.95
Kindle Price: $10.99
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Sold by: Penguin Group (USA) LLC


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Book Description

A brilliantly funny exploration of the twin mysteries of parenthood and families from the Pulitzer Prize winner and New York Times–bestselling author of Insane City.

In his New York Timesbestselling I’ll Mature When I’m Dead, Dave Barry embarked on the treacherous seas of adulthood, to hilarious results. What comes next? Parenthood, of course, and families.

In uproarious, brand-new pieces, Barry tackles everything from family trips, bat mitzvah parties and dating (he’s serious about that title: “When my daughter can legally commence dating—February 24, 2040—I intend to monitor her closely, even if I am deceased”) to funeral instructions (“I would like my eulogy to be given by William Shatner”), the differences between male and female friendships, the deeper meaning of Fifty Shades of Grey, and a father’s ultimate sacrifice: accompanying his daughter to a Justin Bieber concert (“It turns out that the noise teenaged girls make to express happiness is the same noise they would make if their feet were being gnawed off by badgers”).

Let’s face it: families not only enrich our lives every day, they drive us completely around the bend. Thank goodness we have Dave Barry as our guide!

Editorial Reviews Review

P.J. O'Rourke and Dave Barry in Conversation

In the first paragraph of the prologue to his new book, The Baby Boom: How It Got That Way... And It Wasn't My Fault... And I'll Never Do It Again, political humor writer P.J. O'Rourke declares in no uncertain terms that he is "full of crap." Similarly, in the introduction to his upcoming book, You Can Date Boys When You're Forty, humor columnist Dave Barry explains that his book, despite its subtitle "Parenting and Other Topics He Knows Very Little About," is not about parenting.

It's easy to imagine that when these two bestselling authors and longtime pals get together, commiserative silliness ensues. But in this case, no imagination is necessary. We popped in on an email exchange between these two masters of existential trolling. Here's what happened:

Dave Barry: P.J. — I loved The Baby Boom which manages to be both hilarious and insightful. What I want to know is: How did you remember all that stuff? Especially about the '60s. Didn't you take drugs? Of course not! Neither did I! Drugs are bad! But my memories of that era are very purple-hazy, whereas you seem to remember every detail of everything that happened. How did you do that?

P.J. O'Rourke: I made it up. I'm a professional reporter. I'm PAID to make things up. Actually, I do remember a lot about the '60s. Probably because I still know a lot of the same people. And they're still yelling at me about things I did back then. Keeps memories fresh. Sort of like a wife. Just kidding, dear. Sort of like a first wife. And I loved You Can Date Boys When You're Forty. You admit you went to a Justin Bieber concert. Kind of pushing the envelope even for a confessional memoir. You're brave, dude, brave.

DB: I did indeed go to a Justin Bieber concert, because my daughter really really really wanted to go because she LOVED Justin Bieber. It was terrifying. I was in Coral Gables, Florida, in 1992 when Hurricane Andrew passed over and nearly took off the roof of the home in which I was cowering. I understood then why the noise of a hurricane is always compared to a freight train. What it SHOULD be compared to is a Justin Bieber concert. Given the choice, I'd rather sit through Andrew again.

PJO: When I pick my daughters up from school they, for some reason I can't imagine, don't want to listen to Rush Limbaugh, and so they tune the radio to what sounds to me like somebody donated 200 drum sets and an Auto-Tune to a juvenile delinquent corrections facility. But does this mean today's music sucks? Yes.

Read the full conversation on Omnivoracious.


“[A] hilarious collection . . . Barry is particularly sidesplitting when describing his role as the 65-year-old dad of a 13-year-old daughter.  His description of taking his teen to a Justin Bieber concert is brilliantly funny . . . Parents and non-parents alike will find plenty of laughs.”--Publishers Weekly
“Humorous take on life . . . Barry offers a baby-boomer perspective on a faster-paced life of electronic gadgetry and the Internet and ponders the aging process, including getting mail marketing Medicare and watching Viagra commercials in the company of your children.”--Booklist
“[A] wide-ranging collection of funny essays . . . even those who don't have children and have never lived in Miami or searched for a Wi-Fi connection in the Israeli desert will appreciate Barry's lighthearted absurdity.”--Kirkus Reviews
Praise for Dave Barry

“Dave Barry remains one of the funniest writers alive.”—Carl Hiaasen

“While reading Dave Barry’s Big Trouble, I laughed so loud I fell out of a chair. Luckily, there’s a rug, so I didn’t hurt myself.” —Stephen King

Product Details

  • File Size: 2315 KB
  • Print Length: 241 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0399165940
  • Publisher: Putnam Adult (March 4, 2014)
  • Sold by: Penguin Group (USA) LLC
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #38,709 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Genuinely hilarious, as always January 7, 2014
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Being a long-time Dave Barry reader (along with Mike Royko and the other "old school" humor set for years), I enjoyed this book.

It is straightforward, like his other humor books, "The Taming of the Screw," "I'll Mature When I'm Dead," etc. The general subject matter is "getting older." While there were not any fart or booger jokes that I can recall, there was a long section on the nationwide epidemic of "noodle d**k," 50 Shades of Grey, musing about turning 65, and Justin Bieber/One Direction. It made me laugh out loud at least three times, AND I was reading this at the same time that I had the flu, i.e., feeling miserable. No mean feat!

While the majority of the best essays are stacked up front, this is still a book to read. Dave Barry is a master of situational comedy, he does it in print, and he's been doing it for years. Buy it.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Dave Barry has been writing humorous essays for decades and has polished his skills to the point that he can effortlessly skewer just about any cultural trend he cares to. Though the title of this collection suggests that it will be about parenting, it isn't really. Only one of the nine essays touches on the subject (and even that one is devoted mostly to making fun of Justin Bieber). The longest essay in the collection is about a trip to Israel. But the collection needed a title, and I suspect his publishers felt that a "parenting" collection would sell best, so here it is.

Barry is in good form here; I chuckled out loud many times when reading this book, starting in the introduction. Barry has always been self-deprecating, and it's often funny, and it works well here. It's especially good when he can simultaneously make fun of himself for being a wimp, for example, while mocking those who behave differently for being foolhardy (see his discussion of young men shooting bottle rockets out of their derrières, for example).

The book is best when Barry makes fun of things he hasn't mocked before — Justin Bieber, Fifty Shades of Gray, Viagra commercials. It's weakest when he uses the same techniques to tread over ground he has visited before, like trying to help his daughter with her homework, or when he makes fun of his wife for shopping too much. He returns to that last trope repeatedly, and it seems chauvinistic and kind of mean.

On balance, this is another excellent collection from an author who has hit his stride. Not a long collection; I read it in about two hours. It would be a good gift for most grownups, especially fathers.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars not as funny as it could be March 20, 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
The first couple of chapters were vintage Barry...but then I found myself skipping many paragraphs...the whole Israel trip was boring to me. I love Dave Barry, always have, but this book, well, just didn't do it.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The woes of family January 22, 2014
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I have adored Dave Barry ever since I stole my mother's omnibus of his books and read it in secret. But since he no longer writes syndicated columns, I admit that he's kind of fallen off my radar.

So after a few years of not really reading much of Barry's work, "You Can Date Boys When You're Forty: Dave Barry on Parenting and Other Topics He Knows Very Little About" is like visiting that rare nostalgic spot that still holds up even when you're older -- lots of rambling, goofy descriptions about family, life, sex and the many woes of being a parent.

Barry assures us that in addition to parenting, this book "covers many other topics, including grammar, sex, camels, women, brain surgery, sex with women, how to become a professional author, airlines, Justin Bieber and death." A lot of those are pretty connected, I suspect... especially the last two.

Among the topics he tackles: his daughter's crush on Justin Bieber, the terrifying ordeal of being the dad to a little girl, the lack of manliness in a technology-dominated society (including "ironic" clothing), reading "Fifty Shades of Grey," the problems of cremation, getting into the AARP demographic, the differences between men and women (sum-up: women talk more), the horror of flying in the age of the TSA, and touring Israel with his wife and a lot of total strangers.

And as a longtime writer, he also enlightens us with the facts about writing, authorship and grammar ("'Leonardo DiCaprio' is a noun because he is a person whereas 'Marlon Brando' is not because he died in 2004") and the proper etiquette for Internet debates ("Your a fascist"). It's certainly more informative than actual grammar lessons.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Aging January 6, 2014
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
There are several comic gems in each of the nine essays in a collection from Dave Barry titled, You Can Date Boys When You're Forty: Dave Barry on Parenting and Other Topics He Knows Very Little About. While I chuckled at his humor in being at a Justin Bieber concert with his thirteen year old daughter, I laughed more when he reflected on what it’s like being sixty five years old, and in the way he offers wisdom on what women want. Any reader looking for a few laughs will find them in this collection.

Rating: Four-star (I like it)
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Can't beat Dave for LOL!
Dave's my favorite and it we appropriate for my son w/ 2 young daughters.
Published 11 hours ago by Gary F
3.0 out of 5 stars Starts of well but then...
Starts off well but promptly takes a nose dave after 2-3 chapters. I skipped most of the Israel chapter because cultural ignorance isn't funny to me.
Published 1 day ago by Matthew Heaton
3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars
Funny, but a lot of wasted paper space. Artificial book length is a bit insulting
Published 2 days ago by Alexander B.
4.0 out of 5 stars This book is not only filled with chuckles but also ...
This book is not only filled with chuckles but also has many full, out loud, laughs. Only Dave Berry could draw on many years of child rearing combined with a very unique writing... Read more
Published 4 days ago by Joel
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
If you grew up/older with Dave Barry this is a delightful continuation of all our journeys.
Published 6 days ago by RC
4.0 out of 5 stars When Dave hits his mark he's laugh out loud funny. Reading this alone...
When Dave hits his mark he's laugh out loud funny. Reading this alone on the beach I had to cover my mouth so I didn't look like some mad man snickering to himself. Read more
Published 11 days ago by Ken Goldman
5.0 out of 5 stars Very funny..wish it was longer!
Really enjoyed the stories. The trip to Israel was very funny. I wish Mr. Barry would write more humor books! I've read all but his fictional books! He's the funniest!
Published 11 days ago by Deb S
5.0 out of 5 stars Barry's back!
After a hiatus, Barry is back in top form, with laugh-out-loud moments and perfectly formed phrases, mainly about fathers' anxieties about daughters.
Published 13 days ago by T. G. Gutheil
3.0 out of 5 stars extremely short and somewhat funny
Funny but really incredibly short. Your average NY Times article is about twice as long as this entire book.
Published 16 days ago by millstopher
5.0 out of 5 stars And we have wi-fi!?
Lmao, great vacation read!
Published 18 days ago by Mitch Brockett
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More About the Author

The New York Times has pronounced Dave Barry "the funniest man in America." But of course that could have been on a slow news day when there wasn't much else fit to print. True, his bestselling collections of columns are legendary, but it is his wholly original books that reveal him as an American icon. Dave Barry Slept Here was his version of American history. Dave Barry Does Japan was a contribution to international peace and understanding from which Japan has not yet fully recovered. Dave Barry's Complete Guide to Guys is among the best-read volumes in rehab centers and prisons. Raised in a suburb of New York, educated in a suburb of Philadelphia, he lives now in a suburb of Miami. He is not, as he often puts it so poetically, making this up.

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