Saturday, August 7, 2010

Dave Barry Does Japan

If you're not a Dave Barry fan, that's your prerogative. It is possible to feel his overuse of the word booger leans toward the tasteless and juvenile end of the humor spectrum. But he's definitely found his niche. He's perceptive and entertaining, and he makes me laugh. So, I have a few Dave Barry books in my possession, and have read many others.

I you don't mind reading books that are used (I assume you don't mind if you ever use your library card) you can currently find Dave Barry Does Japan for as low as a penny right now at if you don't mind paying the $24 shipping. The Kindle version is only $9.99.

Here are a couple excerpts from the reviews on

(1) 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. ~A Customer

(2) 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. ~M. Stabil

What I especially did not expect in this books was the chapter on Hiroshima. In a singular aside that had even greater weight because of its rarity, Barry did not use his comic's voice in this chapter. Hiroshima was a seriously dark event in the 20th century and though there are many wanting the U.S. to apologize for dropping the bomb, Dave reminded his readers that as tragic as it was the Japanese were not "the good guys" in World War II. The dropping of the bomb was not a light, breezy decision by President Truman. As costly as it was in terms of human life, it spared hundreds of thousands more.

Yesterday was the 65th anniversary of the bombing of Hiroshima, one of the darkest days in modern times. Monday will be the anniversary of the detonation of "Fat Man" over Nagasaki. The ethics of having dropped a bomb on civilians will be debated for years to come.

It is my hope that we'll never see nuclear weapons deployed again in human history.
The end.

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