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Dave Barry's History of the Millennium (So Far) Hardcover – September 17, 2007

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Putnam Adult; First Edition edition (September 17, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 039915437X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0399154379
  • Product Dimensions: 5.8 x 0.9 x 8.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (47 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,623,014 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Although Barry retired his column in 2004, he continues to examine current events with his annual Year in Review surveys, and the ones he wrote between 2000 and 2006 are collected here. He opens with a 33-page outline of history (from 1000 to 1999) in which we learn that the first book Gutenberg mass produced in 1455 was Codpieces of Passion by Danielle Steel, and that computer pioneer Charles Babbage died in 1871, still waiting to talk to someone from Technical Support. In 2002, airline industry losses prompted America West, in a cost-cutting measure, to eliminate the cockpit minibar 2003: Jayson Blair, leaving the New York Times thoroughly disgraced, is forced to accept a six-figure book contract 2004: Abu Ghraib photos revealed soldiers repeatedly forcing prisoners to look at the video of Janet Jackson's right nipple 2006: Osama bin Laden released another audiotape, for the first time making it downloadable from iTunes. As a time line of humor, some of Barry's jokes were probably funnier the year they were written, but it's still a breezy and entertaining read. The 32 clever cartoon illustrations brighten the book's pages. (Sept. 17)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

Humorist Barry offers a look at the new millennium thus far in this collection of the annual reviews that Barry offers through his newspaper columns. It consists of month-to-month commentary on the most outrageous events of the year—Janet Jackson's wardrobe malfunction, the "heck of a job" done by Michael Brown during Hurricane Katrina, the failure to find WMDs in Iraq—all delivered with Barry's hilarious look at the absurdities of American life. The book includes 32 line drawings that add to the fun, as well as a bonus look at history during the first millennium, from 1000 through 1999. Barry fans and readers looking for a lighter perspective on the history of world events will enjoy this book. Bush, Vanessa

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

This is another fall down laughing book from Dave Barry.
Jean C. White
He is still funny in most of the book, but in too many places the writing is a bit slow.
Doug Brockmeier
He read it multiple times, loaned it out to his room mates, they loved it!

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

42 of 53 people found the following review helpful By Jerry Saperstein HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on September 20, 2007
Format: Hardcover
Dave Barry used to be hilarious. His comic novel "Big Trouble" is classic as are many of his columns. But maybe he's getting old. Maybe he's become jaded. One thing he has become is less funny.

"History" is a dud, in my opinion. It's just not funny.

Barry tries - and fails.

He gives us a capsule view of the years 1000 - 1999 and falls flat on his face with unfunny lines like "[Genghis] Khan and his descendants created a vast empire that ultimately encompassed all of Asia, Asia Minor, Asia Minor Phase II, and the Shoppes at Asia Minor Plaza." You might find it a gut-buster: I don't.

Barry goes on to cover the first six years of the new century. But the absurd wit and word play that marked his one-time column are missing.

For example: "In aviation news, SpaceShipOne, the first privately funded manned rocket, breaks free from its mother plane, soars sixty-two miles above the Earth, swoops gracefully back to Earth, rolls to a stop on the Mojave Desert, and files for bankruptcy." If there's fun, a joke, lurking in that line, I missed it.

Barry rides - to death - the Palm Beach voting fiasco of 2000. It doesn't work.

I hate to say it, but this is a Dave Barry book that didn't strike me as funny. Hopefully it's a one of a kind thing, like maybe the product of contract he's trying to get out of or something. Dave Barry's humor has brightened too many of my days to contemplate his losing his talent. Say it isn't so, Dave.

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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Loyd E. Eskildson HALL OF FAME on November 20, 2007
Format: Hardcover
Dave begins by covering the first millennium, starting with the Y1K problem that caused parchment to malfunction by turning many words inside out. Then its the Chinese rise to power in 1083 (after stealing the plans for the cherry bomb and bottle rocket from the Los Alamos National Laboratory), the bubonic plague (not covered by HMOs), and the English mathematician Charles Babbage inventing the forerunner of today's computers in 1834 - he died in 1871, still waiting for Technical Support.

Eventually we arrive at Y2K to find all the experts wrong (electricity did not go out, planes didn't crash, and renegade ATMs did not roam the streets). Later in the year scientists found the only boy in the U.S. not being treated for ADHD. Etc., etc.

Barry's book is surprising detailed as far as the number of important events covered goes, even reporting V.P. Cheney's hunting accident and ending with NYPD surrounding a Burger King and firing 37 bullets into a man carrying a concealed Whopper with banned "trans-fat."

I'm assuming we'll be getting updates as the new millennium marches on.
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18 of 23 people found the following review helpful By C. Wagner on October 4, 2007
Format: Hardcover
From the DJ: "No matter what challenges we face as a species- no matter what hurdles are placed in our way- somehow we always find a way, even in the darkest hour, to make things worse. It's a miracle, really. You read about the events of one year and you think, 'There's no possible way that human beings can get any stupider than that.' Then you read what we did the next year, and darned if we didn't pull it off!" Now, that's funny! Maybe you can imagine the media, school books, and your preacher are full of lies. Well, so is this book, but Dave Barry is supposed to be funny. It's not that Dave does not have a few hilarious "gotchas," but, for the most part, the book is a one trick pony. I am not making this up. Humor is hard work. But, hey, watch some Fox news and, then read a chapter. Maybe then you will laugh. The bottom line is: You will not laugh your socks off, but you will encounter some above average satire. As the author says: "Enjoy.."
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Format: Hardcover
While I don't believe that this is Dave Barry's best book, it's not all that terrible, either. He does do a good job of "reviewing" the major news items and poking fun at them. And the years 2000 through 2006 were laden with material for a guy like Barry, including the creation of the Department of Homeland Security and the TSA.

The first chapter is the worst, where he goes over the history of the world up to the year 2000. That chapter was not particularly funny, and I almost gave up on the book before finishing the chapter. After the first chapter, however, Barry seemed to get into his old groove and turn out material that was, at the least, humorous. This book isn't good for a laugh a page, but is good for a few chuckles a chapter.

I don't get Barry's column here in California, so I will have to rely on the other reviewers that this is a compilation of his columns. If you are a regular reader in the paper, you might find it objectionable to pay for getting the same material a second time.

Read it, enjoy it, and do what Barry does best. Don't take anything to seriously, including this book.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By NatashaR. on February 14, 2008
Format: Audio CD
I have always been a Dave Barry fan, but, like some other reviewers, just could not get into the humor when I first picked up the book...and put it away unfinished. Then I recently received as a gift the Audio version, which is unabridged and read by Patrick Frederic...AND LOVED IT. I have a 2 hour commute to work and listened to it then---and the other commuters must have thought I was some kind of escaped lunatic---I was screaming with laughter! For some reason, Patrick Frederic's delivery of the lines is so much funnier than my reading of the lines in my head. My 2 hr. commute flew by...I was actually wishing it was longer!!
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