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Dave Barry Hits Below the Beltway Audio Cassette – Audiobook, Oct 2001


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Product details

  • Audio Cassette
  • Publisher: Brilliance Audio; Unabridged edition (Oct 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1587888475
  • ISBN-13: 978-1587888472
  • Product Dimensions: 22.4 x 12.9 x 3.1 cm

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 37 reviews
16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
vintage Dave 9 Oct 2001
By M. H. Bayliss - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
Okay, I admit that I'm one of the hardy few who has read EVERY Dave Barry book. Even his weaker books are funny. This happens to be one of the classics. I read it straight through while sitting at a local bookstore. Although almost every page had something that made me laugh; by far the funniest section was his re-writing of our Constitution complete with fake amendments (number 8 was intentionally left blank). This is Barry at his comic best. He also has some funny bits on the Clintons (referring to the boring White House tour he points out tha that you only see the furniture -- oh, what furniture since Hillary and Bill took everything with them). This pseudo history and hilarious send up of Washington is a winner from start to finish. And Dave Barry is not making some of this up. And I'm not his fan just because I happened to have attended the very same middle school Barry did in Armonk, New York.
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
Dave Barry--Going Through a P.J. O'Rourke Phase? 11 Oct 2001
By "stiegel1" - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
I was leaving the library last night and noticed a new Dave Barry title hanging on the new books rack, so I had to pick the thing up. I was not disappointed.
I must confess that I've been a long-time Barry fan, but I last purchased "Book of Bad Songs." As great a series of columns as that turned out to be, the book itself was pretty much bunk. Not the case this time. This book, thankfully, was not column rehashes.
Barry has long been considered a Libertarian, and this book makes a good case for it. The first two chapters have the worst elements of a lackluster Barry book, like too many footnotes and a string of jokes that form no real coherent narrative. But the book's bright spots are on the horizon: Barry bashes the government.
He gives good statistics and charts, believe it or not. He even admits that it's basically his (updated and inferior) version of P.J. O'Rourke's _Parliament of Whores_. He shines with proposals that candidates be injected with massive amounts of truth serum and forced to dress NASCAR-style, with sponsor's logos on their suits. The best section is the one in which he argues that South Florida should be expelled from the Union. Besides a hilarious look at why South Floridians do not know how to vote, he absolutely skewers Fidel Castro and the liberal establishment's coddling of him.
If you're familiar with O'Rourke, you'll probably love Dave Barry's attempt at writing a P.J. book. Even P.J. would like it, since he's complained before that he hates going on book tours with Barry, since he's nowhere near as funny. Five stars without the first two plodding chapters, four stars with them.
Incidentally, O'Rourke has a new book out as well. October is being kind to me this year.
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
Hilarity wins the election 24 Jun 2002
By E. A Solinas - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
There are no dangling, pregnant, or dimpled chads -- Dave Barry's "Hits Below the Beltway" has won the election. After many years of pokes and prods at our ripe-for-ridicule government, Barry strikes out with an all-new and very funny book.
After an amusing dedication to his kids -- because they will someday pay his Social Security -- Dave launches into his giant-zucchini-ridden explanation of government, how it originated in ancient times. Then he goes on to the early United States ("Whereas in the course of human events it behooves us, the people, not to ask, What can our country do for us anyway? but rather, whether we have anything to fear but fear itself, so that a government of the people, by the people, and for the people may be one nation under God, who art in heaven...") and a heavily edited version of the Constitution ("Congress shall make no law regulating the capacity of toilets").
Then he switches to the present, where he explains things like the Republicans and Democrats and why they are radically different, the different departments like the Department of Education (which goes up in size as human stupidity grows), and then to Washington itself; he goes over its history, Capitol Hill, the pointiest thing in Washington (the Washington Monument), the White House, and the Mall. Then Dave proceeds to what everyone wants to hear about: Presidential elections. He examines the different ways of trying to get a candidate elected, such as nominating a loser; and then he examines several political figures, such as the Rev. Jesse Jackson, John F. Kennedy, John Glenn, and so forth. He also proposes some risky yet satisfying measures, such as giving candidates doses of sodium pentothal and forcing them to wear donor logos.
And what book on modern politics would be complete without coverage of the farcical 2000 presidential election? Dave revels in the idiocy of the situation before proposing that Florida be ejected from the United States. There is a bit of a subject deviation at that point, where he spends many pages describing the diverse and insane anti-paradise known as Florida. And then it's back to the 2000 election, and the very rainy inauguration of George W. Bush.
Readers may be inclined to hesitate when they see that this is a book about the government and politics, but there is no reason to be. If Dave Barry has any political preferences, they aren't evident in this book. He has a certain bipartisan manner of writing, in that he spoofs both major parties and small ones as well. Though the giant zucchini joke may get old fast, his writing is hilarious as ever; few of his jokes have been featured in columns or previous books.
Dave Barry is as funny as ever, every bit as able to amuse and entertain. If you laughed at the commentators during the 2000 elections and wondered why it is the Department of Education doesn't accomplish anything, then this book is very much for you...
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Barry again hits the mark with his latest effort 2 Dec 2001
By Blaine Greenfield - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
Read DAVE BARRY HITS BELOW THE BELTWAY by, you guessed it,
Dave Barry . . . I've liked just about everything he has written, only
regretting the fact that his columns don't appear in my local
paper . . . this latest effort, designed to be "a vicious and
unprovoked attack on our most cherished political
institutions," succeeds at being that--for the most
part . . . there are some parts that just aren't very
funny, but others more than make up for them.
Even the book jacket had me laughing, especially this one portion:
True, his best-selling collections of columns are legendary, but it is his wholly original books, like this one, that reveal him as an American icon. DAVE BARRY SLEPT HERE was his version of American history. DAVE BARRY DOES JAPAN was a contribution to international peace and understanding from which Japan has not yet fully recovered. DAVE BARRY'S COMPLETE GUIDE TO GUYS is among the best-read volumes in rehab centers and prisons. And now, with his take on American politics and, especially, Washington, DC, he takes his place with de Tocqueville and Larry King as a truly infamous explicator and commentator on the process by which we find, fun, and . . . (fill in your own four-letter word here) our pols and public servants.
There were many other passages that had me laughing; among them:
Democrats frankly cannot imagine giving and of it back to us; they would infinitely rather invent new programs that they feel we need. When there's a debate between two Democratic candidates, it sounds like this:
FIRST DEMOCRAT: I would guarantee affordable medical care for every American!
SECOND DEMOCRAT: Well, I would guarantee free medical care for every American!
FIRST DEMOCRAT: Oh yeah? Well I would guarantee free medical car for everybody in the United States and their pets!
SECOND DEMOCRAT: Oh yeah? Well I would also guarantee free medical care for everybody in Mexico and Canada!
FIRST DEMOCRAT: Oh YEAH? Well I would guarantee free medical care even for people who didn't need it! I would have squads of armed federal employees burst into healthy people's homes and forcibly remove their spleens!
SECOND DEMOCRAT: OH YEAH?! Well, I would dig up dead people and
give them . . .
I'm not saying that sex is the only thing that happens on class trips. As a student visiting the capital, you also learn many important educational lessons, such as:
1.How to moon pedestrians from a moving bus.
2. How to stand in your hotel doorway, teetering back and forth and reeking of beer, and attempt to convince the physical education teacher, Mr. Bomperman--who is wearing, on his left shoulder, a semidigested piece of the pizza you had for dinner--that it may have been a student who looked exactly like you, but it was not, in fact, you, who barfed on him out the hotel window.
3. How important it is--you realize this as the US Capitol police are stripping you for a cavity search-to believe the signs stating that bomb threats, even highly amusing bomb threats, will be taken seriously.
And he book's last paragraph is "classic" Berry:
I also want to state that, despite the sometimes-critical tone of this book, I really do think that the United States is a great country. And despite the good-natured "ribbing" I have given to the US government, in reality I have nothing but the greatest respect for our federal workforce, especially the decent, hardworking, and--in my opinion--grossly underpaid employees of the audit division of the Internal Revenue Service. Thank you.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
What happens when you mix a Libertarian and Satire? 23 Sep 2002
By kaabee - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
What happens when you mix a true Libertarian with generous helpings of Satire? You get an extremely entertaining book that uses great wit to lampoon the anointed elite known as "our leaders". Dave Barry understands Government better than most of the politicians do and certainly better than the general public (most folks don't actually understand the line "I'm from the Government and I'm here to help" as being funny). The best part of this book is that although he uses satire, there is no exaggeration on his part regarding the inner workings of the Beltway. I'm glad that Dave Barry is a Libertarian and his sense of the absurd is fantastic. Nothing combats evil and pompous people better than humor. Groucho Marx made a career of it. Dave Barry takes it to the next level.
I was surprised that the last line of this book wasn't "I'm not making this up".
Enjoy the book; it's one of the best since P. J. O'Rourke's "Parliament of Whores".
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