- Hardcover: 240 pages
- Publisher: G.P. Putnam's Sons; First Edition edition (September 6, 2016)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1101982608
- ISBN-13: 978-1101982600
- Product Dimensions: 6.3 x 1 x 9.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 378 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #136,445 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Best. State. Ever.: A Florida Man Defends His Homeland Hardcover – September 6, 2016
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Praise for Best. State. Ever.
"A side-splitting read. With a guffaw on every page, a wealth of detail and a cocktail of irreverence, you might call Barry’s look at Florida a tour de farce. But you’d be wrong. “Best. State. Ever.” represents a loving and ribald look at a weird and wonderful place." — Richmond Times-Dispatch
“Whether it’s the invsive wildlife or the annual snowbird migration, plenty of folks have disparaged Florida over the years. But leave it to Pulitzer Prize-winning humorist and longtime resident Dave Barry to pen a proper ode.” — Garden and Gun
Praise for Dave Barry
“Genuine genius . . . American silliness has long had a champion in Dave Barry. . . . [He] remains, and there is no other word for it, hilarious.” —The New York Times Book Review
“Dave Barry’s latest book of essays is worth every penny when it comes to humor and insight. It’s wonderful to see that he hasn’t stopped writing about our foibles and his somewhat unique perspective on what makes us tick. And he’s able to do it while invoking out-loud laughter.” —Associated Press
“These latest essays will cause outright, prolonged laughter.” —Kirkus Reviews
“Despite years of medication, Dave Barry is still the funniest damn writer in the whole country. Let’s hope he never grows up.” —Carl Hiaasen
“Dave Barry is truly the funniest man living in the three-mile ‘safe’ zone off the shores of America.” —Steve Martin
About the Author
From 1983 to 2004, Dave Barry wrote a weekly humor column for The Miami Herald, which in 1988 won a Pulitzer Prize for Commentary. He is the author of more than thirty books, including such bestsellers as the nonfiction Live Right and Find Happiness (Although Beer Is Much Faster), You Can Date Boys When You’re Forty, and I’ll Mature When I’m Dead; the novels Big Trouble, Tricky Business, and Insane City; the very successful YA Peter Pan novels (with Ridley Pearson); and his Christmas story The Shepherd, the Angel, and Walter the Christmas Miracle Dog. Two of his books—Big Trouble and Dave Barry’s Guide to Guys—have been turned into movies. For a while, his life was even a television series, Dave’s World, but then it was canceled. The series. Not the life. For many years, Dave was also a guitarist with the late, infamous, and strangely unlamented band the Rock Bottom Remainders.
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I was vacationing in Florida and also had a cough that was going on and on forever. I needed a good book to read on the beach, so I went to a bookstore. Unfortunately, I did not notice the "Florida" section until I was leaving the store, having already purchased Melanie Benjamin's The Swans of Fifth Avenue: A Novel (which I read and highly recommend BTW). Dave Barry books took up the largest portion of the Florida section, with Key Lime Cookbooks coming in second, but "Best. State. Ever." was face out and bright yellow, so I noticed it. It looked funny, but since I'd already made my purchase, I left.
Later that evening when another coughing spell was due, I thought about the Barry book I'd seen because it occurred to me that I might be able to get rid of my stupid cough by way of a good, lung-clearing laugh session, so I bought the Kindle version right then and there. Although I am not a medical professional, I can tell you that reading this book worked better than any of the OTC remedies I had been using. The laughter provoked an epic cough session that subsequently allowed me to sleep through the night with no coughing whatsoever. And it worked again the next night. Again, I am not a medical professional; I can only tell you what my experience was.
There have been parts of a couple of the chapters that did not have the desired effect, and other parts had me laughing so hard that I could barely see the words for the tears in my eyes (I'm keeping that in mind in case my eyes ever need to be flushed out), but for the most part, this book proved that laughter may indeed be the best medicine.
I am not making any of this up.
It's a funny book and a fast read. Give your brain a break and take this trip with Dave Barry as your guide. Think of it as mind candy.
Barry gives us the history of his state (Florida) hint: the people are crazy! Barry holds forth on such topics as:
• A Brief History of Florida—letting the reader know just when and where things began to go wrong for the State and how to handle Florida…
• The Skunk Ape—Florida’s odoriferous version of everyone’s favorite cryptid, Bigfoot, is loose in the Swamps of Florida—or is it?
• Weeki Watcee and Spongeworld—two attractions off the beaten path, an underwater mermaid theater and Spongebob’s natural cousins!
• Cassadaga—the Spirits are still talking—or not as the case may be—in a ghost town (Har!) dedicated to the Spiritualism movement…
• The Villages—largest retirement community anywhere gets down and boogies!
• Gatorland—it’s Florida, home of the Everglades and half a million alligators and crocodiles…
• Lock and Load Miami—Florida has the “Stand your ground” Law and this is the place you go to practice—even if you don’t own a gun and never want to own one!
• LIV—huge nightclub everyone fights to attend and pay outrageous prices for booze…
• Key West—it really says something when Key West’s “lower Duval Street makes Bourbon Street look like Sesame Street…”
The laughs are throughout along with the occasional serious moments (not really!) Barry remains King!
I give the book five stars!
Quoth the Raven…