I wish that you could be reading a review of, say, 100 Years of Solitude right now. Or maybe Gravity’s Rainbow. But even the most voracious of readers need a break every now and then, so you’re reading a review of a short, easily-digestible book called Dave Barry’s Money Secrets.
I’ve been a fan of Dave Barry for a long time, ever since my sister got me into him. This was back when I was pretty young, and considered slogging through all ≈250 pages of Dave Barry Does Japan to be a boastable feat. I still enjoy reading Barry’s stuff, especially up into the mid 90s, which is when I think he peaked. His recent forays into fiction have been good, if somewhat reminiscent of Stephen King in terms of unecessary(?) characterization, but his column compendiums and books have been only “ok,” probably because he’s begun to repeat himself (a phenomenon he recognizes in Dave Barry Turns 50.
This particular book is about money, and it struck me that instead of writing new material, Barry took money-related items from previous books, reworked them, and called it new. The section on real estate hearkened back to Homes and Other Black Holes, as well as a piece on home ownership that first appeared in Dave Barry’s Bad Habits.
For all that, though, this book served its purpose, which was to make me laugh and provide a brief relief before I tackle Mark Prendergast 554-page tome about coffee.