Dave Barry Does Japan
2 journalers for this copy...
"So what did Japan ever do to Dave Barry?
It introduced him to a mouth-watering array of Far Eastern culinary delights ("the Japanese routinely eat things that have eyeballs or suckers or other flagrantly unacceptable organs still attached to them"); exposed him to high culture ("one hour of watching Kabuki is the equivalent of seventeen hours spent in a more enjoyable activity, such as eye surgery"; and brought him face-to-face (or belly-to-belly) with the sports sensation that is sumo wrestling ("two severely porky guys in jockstraps lunging into each other").
Not since George Bush's memorable dinner with the Japanese prime minister has the Land of the Rising Sun seen the likes of a goodwill ambassador like Dave Barry. Join him as he belts out oldies in a karaoke bar, marries a geriatric geisha girl, takes his first bath in public, bows to just about everyone, and explores culture shock in all its numerous, humorous forms, including:
-Failing to Learn Japanese in Only Five Minutes
(Or: "Very Much Good Morning, Sir!")
-Secrets of Japanese Industry (I Probably Should Have Written Them Down)
-Humor in Japan (Take My Tofu! Please!)
-Sports in Japan ("Yo, Batter! Loudly Make It Fly!")
-Lost in Tokyo (Or: Looking for Plastic Squid)
-Staying at a Japanese Inn (Peace, Tranquillity, Insects)"
I read this a couple of years ago and the best I can say about it, from memory, was that it was 'mildly diverting'. Unfortunately, it was also mostly rubbish - Dave Barry is nowhere near as funny as Dave Barry thinks he is. I guess he was trying to be some kind of dumbed-down, loudmouth American version of Bill Bryson or Michael Moore or something? Some of the anecdotes are passingly interesting - but unfortunately Barry's 'humour' is fairly crude and, on occasion, borderline offensive. There's a silliness about the whole endeavour that would otherwise be charming - but I'm afraid that, even despite that, it still doesn't really call for a re-read any time soon. Or ever. I have nothing against reading a light-hearted book about a subject as fascinating as Japan - but this is not that book. But hey, someone else might appreciate it more than I did...
I'm planning to release it at tomorrow evening's BC Meetup being held at The Brigantes in York from 7pm onwards...
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