Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Dave Barry Does Japan - Dave Barry (JAPAN)

Back when I was in middle school, I remember thinking that Dave Barry was a pretty funny writer. I haven't read him in quite some time, but in my mind liken him to Bill Bryson. So, when I saw he had a book about his travels to Japan, I thought it would be a perfect fit for my armchair travel goals for the year. Looking at the cover alone, however, should have tipped me off as to what I was in store for. To be fair, this book was written in 1992, which must have been a very different time in the world. Barry and his family take a three week trip to Japan and he writes all about it - in the most offensive, ignorant, sterotypically rude self-centered white American way possible. Needless to say, I did not find a line of this book funny. I have been to Japan, and I will admit that I too found that there are some weird things about that culture - but for the most part, Japan is a highly efficient, incredibly beautiful country with amazingly delicious food and sophisticated technology. Barry seemed to have no appreciation whatsoever for any of it. He just thought it was all gross and strange and seemed to revel in his closed-minded approach to their culture. Given my background, perhaps I am overly sensitive to anything remotely critical of the Japanese, but I think I still have a decent sense of humor. Perhaps it's just changed since I was 12, and Dave Barry just simply isn't funny to me anymore.

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