L.S. Klepp
January 09, 1998 AT 05:00 AM EST

Dave Barry is from Mars and Venus

type
Book
Current Status
In Season
author
Dave Barry
genre
Comic Novels

We gave it a B

Unlike the moon and some of our more durable humorists—Twain and Thurber come to mind—Dave Barry doesn’t appear to have a dark side. His new collection of newspaper columns, Dave Barry is from Mars and Venus, like his previous ones, is amiable and goofy as it deals with the mishaps of middle-class, middle-aged American life and reveals the immense contributions that bureaucracies, corporations, and urgent scientific warnings have made to the humor-column biz. Yet a few of these pieces, such as the ones about tobacco companies and owners of Harleys, have an undertone of angst and anger, and it’s too bad he retreats into his standard facetiousness, which is starting to sound formulaic. Somewhere inside Barry’s perplexed suburban persona there’s a brooding, scathing satirist waiting to be let out. B

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