Best. State. Ever. by Dave Barry (2016)

Best. State. Ever. by Dave BarryIt’s getting harder to find humour in what’s happening across the line, so I turned to an old stand-by who delivers exactly what I needed in his latest offering, subtitled A Florida Man Defends his Homeland. Humourist Barry, formerly known for his Pulitzer Prize-winning newspaper columns, now publishes a series of children’s novels, as well as continuing to write books for adults like this one. In Best. State. Ever., Barry rejects the idea that Floridians are dumb, but accepts that it’s definitely the state of weird, starting with, natch, the 2000 election and its hanging chads. He then seeks to explain that a) it’s because of all the weirdos coming from the rest of the Excited States, b) the panhandle shape of the state makes it hard for those weirdos to leave, like rats in a maze, and c) the weirdness is exactly what makes it such a Great State. From the search for the elusive Skunk Ape (Sasquatch to British Columbians) in the Everglades to the cheerfully boozy Duval Street in Key West, Barry takes us on a tour of his home state like no other. My hands down favourite (visualise my horrified face) is his description of Lock and Load Miami – also his top pick – where you can plunk down $200 or so and try out the Scarface package of four machine guns and add a handgun such as a Glock. You get to shoot 25 rounds of each weapon under guidance, instruction, and lots of encouragement, in an indoor shooting range. Un-freakin-believable! Barry’s affection for his homeland, flying sharks, Gatorland and all, comes through amid the self-deprecating humour that marks his writing. Don’t read this one on the bus, though – that will guarantee you a one-way ticket to Florida from your fellow riders.
More discussion and reviews of this book:


One thought on “Best. State. Ever. by Dave Barry (2016)

  1. Huh! “Lock and Load Miami,” mentioned in this book and my review of it, is where beleaguered Canadian Conservative candidate shot the video that has landed him in so much hot water this week. Once again, unbelievable.

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