I won a $50 Border’s gift card from SPH and couldn’t find any books I wanted. They were either out of stock or not in stock. The poor state of affairs at Borders made me feel I should quickly spend the gift card before the store closes for good – hence this book.
One factor that attracted me to this book is the excerpts printed at the back of the book: ‘Dave’s wisdom for new father’, ‘Dave’s mature reaction to a routine colonoscopy’ and ‘Dave’s admirable commitment to exercise’.
This book is a collection of tales, with one taken from Barry’s essay originally published in the Miami Herald. He uses satire to share his ‘wisdom’ on women, babies, technology, his career, and even his experience on vasectomy and colonoscopy. What I didn’t get is the inclusion of a vampire novel. What for? To increase the pages in this book? It was out-of-place.
This book gave me an insight on how to write a satire article.
1) An over-used technic is exaggeration, either with numbers or with facts.
‘Your daughter will also need makeup, as specified by strict written dance-studio guidelines, which requires that, because these are young girls with flawless skin, they must wear a sufficient quantity of cosmetic products to cover a regulation volleyball court, or, to put it another way, Cher.’
On colonoscopy : ‘You don’t want a doctor to stick a tube seventeen thousand feet up your butt.’
2) Self deprecating humour :
‘Over the years I’ve received at least 62 million letters from irate people declaring then intention to cancel their subscriptions because of something I wrote.’
3) Surprise your readers. Lead them through and then add an element of surprise.
Example: ‘We (Miami) also have a growing population of unwelcome out-of-town wildlife species that have come here and clearly intend to stay. Two invasive species in particular have caused serious concerns: Burmese pythons, and New Yorkers.‘
I would say the book starts out well, but fizzes out in the middle. It is very funny, and then ‘Barry Funny’, until it becomes like a jokes that you’ve heard numerous time before -tiresome.