7) Dave Barry Hits Below the Beltway, by Dave Barry
Dave Barry is one of the funniest writers in the English language, but he is best at the length of his newspaper columns – his one novel, Big Trouble, is surprisingly flat. I did like his book on American history, Dave Barry Slept Here. This book, nominally about Washington DC and the US political system, contains some beautiful laugh out loud moments and some bits that are less memorable. One passage that stood out for me was his description of losing Democratic candidates, especially 1988’s Michael Dukakis:
Dukakis was an intelligent man, but he was also a man who had essentially the same range of facial expressions as an iguana. He did not fire up audiences. When he was speaking, the audience expected that at any moment his tongue would come flicking out and snag a passing insect.For those of us who remember those days, it all seems too true.
The best chapter, though, is the one on South Florida and why the rest of the US should expel it from the Union. Here his humour boils over into sæva indignatio, and is all the better for it. Not quite worth the price I paid for it but fun all the same.