cover image Dave Barry is Not Taking This Sitting Down!

Dave Barry is Not Taking This Sitting Down!

Dave Barry. Crown Publishers, $23 (256pp) ISBN 978-0-609-60067-2

Miami Herald columnist and Pulitzer Prize winner Barry (Dave Barry Turns 50, etc.) contemplated titling this book""Tuesdays with Harry Potter""Dbut ""the Legal Department had some problems with that."" Barry is as funny as ever in these 73 columns, which targets everything from low-fat diets to low-flow toilets. Barry claims in his introduction that there is no better profession than humor columnist: ""That is why so many people want my job. It looks so easy!... Every year, hundreds of thousands of people try their hand at this demanding profession. After a few months, almost all of them have given up and gone back to the ninth grade."" There's no such regressive retrenchment for Barry, as he expresses his ""deep concernDand yes, outrageDabout the forces of ignorance, injustice, oppression and profound moral decay that beset American society today."" Thus, he covers such burning issues as airline ""bistro service,"" dog shows, driving (""In addition to Road Rage, I frequently experience Parking Lot Rage""), Florida frogs, horse races, the IRS, online stock trading, Parent's Day at college (""I entered my son's apartment, which he shares with three roommates and approximately 200 used pizza boxes""), Paris, school science fairs and the specialty-coffee craze (""mutant beverages with names like `mocha-almond-honey-vinaigrette lattespressacino'""). Outstanding is a satire on academic film criticism, larded with absurd foreign phrases. MacNelly's caustic cartoons (he's another Pulitzer winner) are such perfect visual accompaniments to Barry's wry words that it's a surprise to find only 10 of them. A gifted and engaging humorist, Barry never ceases to entertain: no matter what subject, he can always find a side-splitting twist. 5-city author tour. (Oct.)