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Dave Barry Does Japan by [Barry, Dave]
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Dave Barry Does Japan Kindle Edition

4.5 out of 5 stars 133 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Is this comedic tour of Japan discreet, tasteful, or politically correct? The answer, thank god, is Naaah! Yet Dave Barry's travelogue never grows mean-spirited, and he's always ready to laugh at his own country--and by extension, himself. An example: "I understand that, even if two Japanese have worked together for many years, neither would dream of using the other's first name. Whereas Americans are on a first-name basis immediately, and by the end of the first day have generally graduated to 'Yo, Butthead!'"

From Publishers Weekly

A first-class all-expenses-paid three-week vacation in Japan, underwritten by his publisher, provides Miami Herald columnist and humorist Barry with material for some tired gags about language problems, kowtowing, eating and other quick-take visitor befuddlements in the land of the rising sun. Dutifully covering the standard tourist attractions, including Hiroshima, Mount Fiji and the pearl factories, he presents himself as a sort of Everyman-in-Japan-for-the-first-time, fueling his jokes with his ignorance of the language, history and culture. Although much of the humor is strained or tasteless, on occasion readers can laugh without embarrassment. Nevertheless this made-to-order book will likely find a made-to-order audience among fans of such previous titles as Dave Barry Slept Here.
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Product Details

  • File Size: 541 KB
  • Print Length: 222 pages
  • Publisher: Ballantine Books; Reprint edition (July 15, 2010)
  • Publication Date: July 28, 2010
  • Sold by: Random House LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B003VS0MZQ
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #113,609 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By A Customer on November 1, 1997
Format: Paperback
As a Japanese citizen, living in the US, I thought I might be offended by this book, but after reading it I decided that this is the funniest book ever written. But it is not just funny and hilarious, Dave Barry sees Japan through very human eyes and all his observations are true. The way he describes Japanese culture and behavior is right on. Japanese culture and traditions may seem quite strange and foreign to many people but reading this book with its many discussions on everyday- life in Japan, will help to see Japan for what it is and not for what it use to be. Dave Barry does not make fun of Japan, he brings it to us in a very amusing and comical way.
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Format: Paperback
I believe this to be one of the funniest books Dave Barry has ever written. I have a paperback version of it, but I've read it so many times, it's starting to fall apart, and I'm thinking it might be time to replace it with a more permanent hardcover version.
Best parts of "Dave Barry Does Japan": Dave trying, and failing, to learn Japanese on the plane...Dave and his family getting completely lost in Tokyo...Dave trying to blend in at a traditional Japanese resort. I also really enjoyed the chapter about Hiroshima, even though it wasn't funny. This guy can write serious stuff too, it appears--not only that, but he can write it well.
Dave manages to make a journey into an extremely foreign culture incredibly funny without being racist or offensive in any way. And believe it or not, I actually learned a lot about Japan by reading this book. Of course, you have to take everything said in any Dave Barry book with a grain of salt, but one of my favorite things about his writing is his ability to point out the absurdities of everyday life, which I would imagine become even more apparent when one is watching them from an entirely different cultural perspective. Plus, you gotta love the booger jokes.
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Format: Paperback
I have found myself on a recent binge of amazon.com review writing that stems from days where I don't have to teach class. So to occupy myself when I should be teaching English, I write reviews. Today, I finished Dave Barry Does Japan, and I decided to add my two cents to the other 50 reviews.
I started off enjoying this book a great deal. And I finished the book enjoying it a great deal. And I highly suggest it for anyone living in Japan or anyone who's remotely interested in travel. Its hilarious. The best moment for me was Chapter 2. I shared this chapter with the English Club I teach once a week and it was refreshing to find that the Japanese are also befuddled by the "Elevator Ladies."
3 Weeks in a place where you've suddenly stepped off of the plane and become illiterate can be extremely alienating, and Dave Barry has done the best to exemplify that alienation. I have read enough complaints from people living in Japan; Barry was refreshingly funny. Definitely a good read if you want to wallow in a spirit of I-Hate-Japan.
I was nearly in tears while reading about becoming accustomed to bowing. And his assesment of Japanese driving is right on the money.
In a country where you shouldn't stick out, I got quite the number of stares from my coworkers as I laughed out loud.
Then there's the Hiroshima chapter, which is definitely a step into a different book. I paid particular attention to it as I am taking a trip to Hiroshima this weekend. I agree with his assessment of August 5 becoming like Memorial Day, though other reviewers have made comments about his rant about "WHY" so I will leave that alone. It definitely ruined what was shaping up to be a five-star review.
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Format: Paperback
Had to go to Tokyo on a group business trip (technical training...Yuck!) Naturally picked up "Frommers" (or "Fodors" - whatever)so I would know what was going on. Never EVER figured I'd have to go to Japan on business (or pleasure, for that matter.) One of the lines in the introduction to THAT tourist guide went something like this, "If you have a unique sense of humor and really want to get a feel for everyday life in Tokyo... Pick up "Dave Barry Does Japan"" FROM ANOTHER TRAVEL GUIDE, NO LESS! I read it on the plane flight over, my boss read it on the way back. We laughed our behinds off because everything - EVERYTHING - in the book that specifically happens in Tokyo city happened in some way to us. These 'warnings', if you will, allowed me to relax about the people, the language, the food, the prices.... and just enjoy the undeniable humor in a situation where two very different cultures invariably collide. THE BEST book for a Tokyo traveler who is not necessarily into reverential worship or study of the Japanese culture - Just wants to enjoy the people, the trip, the total experience!
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Format: Paperback
Dave Barry is, as far as I am concerned, a certified genius, and this book is a perfect example of said trait. In this book, he talks about going to Japan with his wife and son, and his various viewpoints on the Japanese culture. Not only is the book hilarious, but it is also interesting, and generally speaking, it's usually nice to hear what Dave Barry has to say on any subject anyway.
In this book, he comments on such things as Kabuki, sumo wrestling, singing in a karaoke bar, cosmetic products made of nightingale excrement, and staying in a traditional Japanese inn (which in turn leads to a little discussion about cicadas; you'll just have to read it). I won't give away much of anything because you just HAVE to read it. A mere review cannot do this book nearly enough justice.
In conclusion, one of my very favorite parts of the book is--and don't ask me why--the part where he talks about attempting to order ketchup at a Kentucky Fried Chicken restaurant. For some reason it made me laugh really hard.
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