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Dave Barry Does Japan Paperback – September 14, 1993
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The Amazon Book Review
Author interviews, book reviews, editors picks, and more. Read it now
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 the Inside Flap
"One of the funniest peole ever to tap tap on a PC."
Not since George Bush's memorable dinner with the Japanese prime minister has the Land of the Rising Sun seen the likes of a goodwill ambassador like Dave Barry. Join him as he belts out oldies in a karaoke bar, marries a geriatric geisha girl, takes his first bath in public, bows to just about everyone, and explores culture shock in all its numerous humorous forms, including: Failing to Learn Japanese in Only Five Minutes (Or: "Very Much Good Morning, Sir!"); Humor in Japan (Take My Tofu, Please!); Sports in Japan ("Yo, Batter! Loudly Make it Fly!"), and more.
Top customer reviews
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Note to fellow Nikkei: Don't get too defensive. Some of the things he finds weird about Japanese people may apply to us as well, but keep in mind he makes as much fun of himself and other Americans as he does of the people he observed in Japan.
he uses the experiences of his family to create a bit of a travelogue in a country so different from the US that it is almost impossible to relate to the customs, population and scenery. Read this book for a most entertaining trip to a far far away country.
You don't have to be a fan of Japanese to find it funny but if you are it adds more layers to the humor.
There is also a serious and informative and sobering chapter on Hiroshima, not my kids favorite but educational
I think this would be an ideal book for a family trip for the family to read together.
This book contains one of the definitively best passages of Dave Barry's Oeuvre. I would love to retype it here in full, but instead I will let you read the entire book (which you must do RIGHT NOW regardless of your prior commitments) so that you don't miss any of the laughs.
Dave Barry is a comedic Genius. We already know this. In Dave Barry Does Japan, he also flexes his journalistic chops, showing us that he is as shrewd, insightful and (while sometimes hyperbolic) honest as he is hilarious. He highlights some of the best things that an outsider would notice about Japan. The not so great things? Presented with humility and grace, if at all.
It's certainly not a textbook on Japan, but it was still informative. Even if you don't learn anything, it is still a great read because it is simply so funny!
The book takes an irreverent, realistic look at Japan. This is the point of view of the tourist. Some things, like plastic squid and Sumo, really are strange to us. Dave Barry is not afraid to call a spade a spade. He does not attempt to cross-examine his own cultural biases, but just is happy to say "Look at that. Weird." Also, he is a very funny writer. I have not read any Dave Barry books before this one. The chapter on Hiroshima shows that he can be respectful as well as silly. That chapter really made the book for me.
My only real complaint with the book is that it is "thin." It is a short book, with a large font. Unlike humorous travelogues by Bill Bryson, this book has very little depth and is no more than a "surface glance" at a small part (Tokyo and Kyoto) of Japan. However, Dave Barry is honest about this and says so straight out. Still, it is lots of fun.
Most recent customer reviews
Looking forward to reading some more books from the same author.
The book is, first, very well-written, being both easy to read and just plain funny.Read more