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From 1983 to 2004, Dave Barry wrote a weekly humor column for The Miami Herald, which in 1988 won a Pulitzer Prize for Commentary. He is the author of more than thirty books, including such bestsellers as the nonfiction Live Right and Find Happiness (Although Beer Is Much Faster), You Can Date Boys When You're Forty, and I'll Mature When I'm Dead; the novels Big Trouble, Tricky Business, and Insane City; the very successful YA Peter Pan novels (with Ridley Pearson); and his Christmas story The Shepherd, the Angel, and Walter the Christmas Miracle Dog. Two of his books--Big Trouble and Dave Barry's Guide to Guys--have been turned into movies. For a while, his life was even a television series, Dave's World, but then it was canceled. The series. Not the life. For many years, Dave was also a guitarist with the late, infamous, and strangely unlamented band the Rock Bottom Remainders.
HUMOR This latest spoof by a best-selling author and popular syndicated humor columnist is a welcome antidote to the recent influx of technical jargon regarding computers and the Internet. In typical style, Barry pokes fun at everything imaginable: "Picture this scenario. ...Your 12-year-old child suddenly remembers that he has a report...due tomorrow. He needs to do some research, but the library is closed....Your cyber-savvy youngster simply...logs onto the Internet...and, in a matter of minutes, is exchanging pictures of naked women with youngsters all over North America." Although readers of Barry's past collections will often see the punchlines before they arrive, there is enough hilariously imaginative material here‘particularly a chart depicting emoticons, those annoying keyboard symbols that chat group users employ to suggest emotion‘to justify purchase in most public libraries.‘Mark Annichiarico, "Library Journal"
Whether you're a computer whiz or a computer nerd, this tongue-in-cheek guide to computing by bestselling humorist Barry (Dave Barry's Complete Guide to Guys, etc.) has enough byte to keep you entertained. Designed to look like a user's manual, complete with section tabs and a mock glossary, it offers a wryly skeptical tour of the digital world with outrageously irreverent commentary on word-processing applications, software installation and use, Windows 95, Comdex trade shows, technical support services and much more. Computerphobes will instantly relate to Barry's spoof, which taps into the residual anxieties lurking even in computer sophisticates. (How to buy and set up a computer? "Step One: Get Valium.") Along with a brief history of computing from cave walls to virtual reality, Barry chats on the Internet, eavesdrops on a cybersex session and visits selected weird World Wide Web sites ("Proof that civilization is doomed.") Barry's nonstop humor is, perhaps necessarily, hit and miss, but he never loses sight of his big target and lets loose with enough volleys to remind us that, despite all the hype, a computer is just a machine "that operates on simple principles that can be easily understood by anybody with some common sense, a little imagination, and an IQ of 750." Major ad/promo. Author tour. (Oct.)