by Dave Barry



224pp/$23.00/October 2000

Dave Barry Is Not Taking This Sitting Down
Cover by Bill Wax

Reviewed by Steven H Silver

Dave Barry has a tendency to write three types of books. The first is a collection of his columns. The second is a book built around a theme. The third is a novel, of which, he has only published one, so far. Dave Barry Is Not Taking This Sitting Down belongs to the first class, which has a tendency to be the strongest group, in part because of Barry's ability to
pick only his stronger and funnier columns. 

Even with such a selection process in place, not all of the included columns hit their mark, but many of them, such as "Coffee, Tea, or Dried Wood Chips?" are laugh-out-loud funny. Because of this, Dave Barry Is Not Taking This Sitting Down should not necessarily be read in public places where people may give you strange looks.

Although Barry has frequently deprecated his own form of humor as booger humor, in fact, many of the pieces he has selected to incorporate into this collection are witty, almost caustic pieces of satire on the current state of American civilization.  The cover of the book, which shows Barry sitting on a toilet may be indicative of the way Barry elects to portray his humor to the public, but is not an accurate portrayal of the comments made throughout the book.  Dave Barry Is Not Taking This Sitting Down contains much less sophomoric and scatological humor than some of Barry's other recent books.

Dave Barry Is Not Taking This Sitting Down is the strongest collection Barry has put together since his collection Bad Habits was initially published in 1985.  Many of the essays remain topical and Barry has grouped them so they frequently follow each other in a logical, rather than a chronological order.

Obviously, Dave Barry Is Not Taking This Sitting Down is a perfect book for Dave Barry's legions of fans.  However, it is also a good introduction to Barry's humor for those whose newspapers may not carry his column and who have yet to make his acquaintance.

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