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Dave Barry's Bad Habits: A 100% Fact-Free Book (Holt Paperback) Paperback – September 15, 1993

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

"To most people, news means information about events that affect a lot of people. On local TV news shows, news means anything that you can take a picture of, especially if a local TV News Personality can stand in front of it."

Dave Barry is the modern master of silliness; there's a party in his pen. While he's more recently branched out into books and magazine articles, the form where he shines brightest is the newspaper column. Dave Barry's Bad Habits is a cracking-good collection of his syndicated column taken from the early 1980s. And Barry at his best can stand among the greatest humorists America has produced.

First of all, let me assure you that we are not in a depression. The key economic indicator of a depression is that you suddenly start seeing a lot of primitive black-and-white newsreel films of people wearing old-fashioned hats and overcoats and forming lines in the streets of major cities to obtain bread. So far, all the lines of people have been videotaped in color, which is the sign of a stable economy. Also, the people have not been lining up for bread. They have been lining up for cheese, which the government has several million tons of."

When you're looking for a good belly laugh, sometimes only Dave Barry will do. Dave Barry's Bad Habits skates from topic to topic, always light, always rambunctious. For the dedicated fan, it's an essential volume; for the rest, it's yet more evidence that Barry is the Zen master of written mirth. --Michael Gerber

Review

Bad Habits--funny book. Read it. (Gannett News Service)

Dave Barry is nothing less thatn the smart-aleck Peter Pan of American letters. (the Seattle Times)

Dave Barry is the guru of guffaws. (the Atlanta Journal-Constitution)

He has the ability to charm us with nonsense so compelling that it almost makes sense. (Houston Chronicle)

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Product Details

  • Series: Holt Paperback
  • Paperback: 292 pages
  • Publisher: Holt Paperbacks; 1st Owl Book Ed edition (September 15, 1993)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0805029648
  • ISBN-13: 978-0805029642
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.7 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #790,333 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By mbovee@ukans.edu on January 21, 1998
Format: Paperback
...I felt it best to keep in the spirit of Dave Barry's irreverence. The book DID keep me laughing in spite of myself, and I just couldn't put it down. So, I was laughing and sniggering on the plane (I got it for a long trip), in elevators, and at home, and any other place I could catch a few minutes to savor a bit more delicious laughter until I finally finished the last morsel of wonderfully pointed and silly humor that is Barry's trademark. I read it again in less than a year and still got much joy from it. Now, I've passed it on to my mother (yes, she can read it without tut-tutting over the gross jokes, which are pretty accurate anyway). Every time she mentions the book, she smiles, and she can't help but find something to laugh out loud about in the book each time she picks it up. So, you may not wet yourself, or want to, but it WOULD be a good idea to at LEAST put your cup of tea down before reading this book. I wouldn't want you spilling it and ruining a good guffaw...
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By cdunigan@hotmail.com on December 16, 1997
Format: Paperback
I didn't have a clue who Dave Barry was when I checked this book out of a library in 1984. I just saw the disclaimer, "A 100% Fact-Free Book," and was attracted by that kind of truth in advertising. There were three adults living in the house, and you could always tell, day or night, when somebody had picked up Bad Habits by the sounds of choking laughter. We spend two blissful weeks periodically resuscitating each other. Quintessential Dave. Read it.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on January 30, 1999
Format: Paperback
Dave Barry has published several collections of his fine humor columns. This collection, one of the earliest, is also the best (I personally find that his material has declined with time). Taking on everything from high school English to barbecuing, Barry turns out one hilarious piece after another. Well worth-reading.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Ryan Lohner on July 2, 2001
Format: Paperback
For anyone who wonders what Dave Barry what like when he got started, this collection of some of his earliest columns is a must-read. Some of the columns, especially those about the government, are very out-of-date, but it doesn't make them any less funny. I really could relate to him on some of the subjects, and you will too.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Naomi on November 3, 2001
Format: Paperback
Although definitely not as good as his later collections, this one is worth at least four stars. I would have given it 4 1/2 if it were possible on Amazon.com. Recommended, but if you're strapped for cash, I suggest purchasing a later work first, as you will probably enjoy it more. Also, the typeface (font) used in this edition is annoying, though quickly gotten used to.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Life Out Loud on December 13, 2001
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I hardly think Dave Barry needs yet another "He rocks!" review. It's fairly clear that Dave Barry is the wittiest writer to come along in a generation (if not longer). However, Amazon will stalk me until I write this review so here it is - This book is hysterical. It's vintage Barry and a wonderful collection to have laying about the house for when you need a "hit" of Dave. I highly recommend it.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful By E.M. Bristol VINE VOICE on November 6, 2005
Format: Paperback
Washington Post humor columnist Dave Barry dedicates this book "To Mom and Dad, who never made me go see Santa Claus." Perhaps he avoided that trauma, but as the book attests, he has encountered other horrors including housework, pet ownership, taxpaying time, child raising, traveling, and gift giving. My favorite is the school section, in which Barry dissects the American educational system, why we don't read (blame Dick and Jane), as well as the sections on culture and health. He may not be making these things up, but they are as hilarious as if he had.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Travis Stein VINE VOICE on January 28, 2009
Format: Paperback
I put this one down on my Christmas list as I was looking for humor and odd fact sort of books. Prior to reading Bad Habits, I'd never heard of Dave Barry but was definitely intrigued by the "100% fact-free book" quote and it peaked my interest.

Barry looks at a plethora of issues that faced America in the 1980's and pokes fun at the Reagan Administration, the economy, government jobs, taxes, health habits, pop culture, the solution for kids to stop smoking (skip the 10th grade of course), attempts to communicate with alien life, family vacations/traveling, and of course no book is complete without commentary on our sports. Among my favorites is easily the air traffic controller dialogue :D

Pilot: This is Flight 274, requesting landing instructions
Controller: Well, if it was me, I would put the wheels down first, but don't quote me on that.
Pilot: No, I already know how to land, I was hoping you could tell me which runway I should land on.
Controller: Ah. Let me just turn on the little screen here and -- There we are. Say, is that you about to plow into the mountain?
Pilot: No.
Controller: Oh. That must be one of Bob's. (Yelling to another controller:) Bob, could you turn your screen on for a second? One of your planes is about to -- Wait, forget it.
Pilot: Um, look, we're running out of fuel here, so I'd really appreciate if you could possibly --
Controller: Hey, lighten up, will you? Do you want to make me tense and crazy so Reagen can fire me? (Yelling to other controllers.) Hey guys! I think I got a Republican here! (Laughter in background, shouts of "Steer him into the mountain!")
Pilot: Look please --
Controller: Hey, no sweat. We're just having some fun. I'll get back to you with a runway right after my break.
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Dave Barry's Bad Habits: A 100% Fact-Free Book (Holt Paperback)
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