cover image Dave Barry's Only Travel Guide You'll Ever Need

Dave Barry's Only Travel Guide You'll Ever Need

Dave Barry. Fawcett Books, $18 (171pp) ISBN 978-0-449-90651-4

A distinctly minor effort by the Miami Herald columnist and author of such previous successes as Dave Barry's Greatest Hits , this guide works too hard for comic effect. There are strained references to inedible airline food, a ``Five Booger'' ranking from the ``Michelin Guide to How Snotty a Restaurant Is,'' Chicago as ``The City with a Great Big Butt.'' There are tired gags, one involving the translation of a phrase about ``the fish of your brother Raoul'' and another about using the same map for downtown Vienna, London and Berlin. But the book is not completely devoid of laughs: ``Akron: Meeting Yesterday's Challenges Tomorrow'' is cited as a typical article from an airline magazine. There is a clever parody of a highway historical marker; and a discussion of the problem of locating a tree in Oregon that doesn't have an ecologist wrapped around it. The book, however, is hardly sidesplitting. (Oct.)