Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Dave Barry Hits Below the Beltway” as Want to Read:
Dave Barry Hits Below the Beltway
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Dave Barry Hits Below the Beltway

3.74  ·  Rating Details ·  946 Ratings  ·  62 Reviews
Just in time, Dave Barry supplies the wholly original, much needed history and guide to the new American politics and its three capitals, Washington, D.C., Austin, and South Florida. No surprise: it's hilarious.

Understanding the urgent need for a deeply thoughtful balanced book to explain our national political process, Dave Barry has not even come close. Though he himself
Paperback, 204 pages
Published October 29th 2002 by Ballantine Books (first published October 2nd 2001)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Dave Barry Hits Below the Beltway, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Dave Barry Hits Below the Beltway

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Feb 13, 2009 Jen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: humor
Overall, it was a good book, but the section on Florida politics was hysterical! I still can't beleive any of that actually happened.
Sep 08, 2008 Chris rated it liked it
Shelves: humor, politics
When an election year comes around, I try really hard to stay above the fray. I know that there will be rumors and speeches and policies that get everyone really riled up, and I like to think that I can remain emotionally detached and not allow things to get under my skin.

I usually last until about the Conventions, at which point the slumbering poli-sci major in my brain wakes up and grabs the controls. At that point, I start to take things WAY too seriously. I write long, link-filled diatribes
Robb Bridson
Runs the gauntlet between occasional hilarity, funny-but-overdone, and groan-worthy running gagness.

I never really read (or heard-- this was the audiobook version) Dave Barry before; I just knew he was a very silly guy. And he does not disappoint. Unfortunately the jokes get to be kind of tedious over the course of all the pages/discs.

Also this being Dave Barry's shot at political satire surprisingly made it less enjoyable for me, as a political junky. He aims for a more general audience and us
Jul 19, 2010 Tyler rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Synopsis: The humor columnist for the Miami Herald writes about the history of politics and the United States government.

My Review: While you never know if Dave Barry is speaking the truth or not, this book was certainly an entertaining read. Barry pokes fun at everything he can fit into his 208 pages. In many ways, I found the book to actually be quite eye-opening to the excesses and poor practices of our government. Imagine if the government actually worked the way the founding fathers meant i
Dec 12, 2009 Michael rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2000s
This one rivals Dave Barry Turns 40 as my favorite Dave Barry book, although that might be because I have an unhealthy obsession with politics. He takes shots at both of the big parties, so don't worry that yours will be left out.

He also takes shots at The West Wing, despite the fact that it's the best show ever. Just so you know, I don't approve of that bit. Bad Dave.
Dec 08, 2016 Emily rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: funny
Somehow, Dave Barry made me feel better about our current political situation. Even though this book was published in 2001, it's still shed a lot of light on how stupid our government is. Trust me, nothing has changed. I am not making this up. Giant prehistoric zucchini for president!! Thanks, Dave Barry.

(Also, I listened to this as an audiobook. Dick Hill is amazing!!)
Jan 05, 2014 Lemondrop rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobooks
Dave Barry has been making me laugh hard enough to spray my drink out my nose since I was a kid and read Dave Barry Slept Here: A (Sort of) History of the United States for the first time. As I've gotten older, the generational gap plus a SLIGHT lean to the right in his politics - in the rare instances where he alludes to them - have put a bit of a wedge between us, but it's a teeny, tiny wedge - a sliver, really. He tends to rely on broad, Regular-Joe stereotypes for punchlines, and usually, th ...more
I am a big fan of Dave Barry's books. I've read a dozen of them so far, and I love his acerbic wit. His books are quick, funny reads.

I picked this book up specifically since I live in the D.C. area and I thought it would offer some barbed, but humorous thoughts on our great capital. It has a fairly dated feel to it, especially with jokes about Ted Kennedy, Strom Thurmond (I'm sure the jokes were funnier when they were alive), as well as Monica Lewinsky, dimpled chads and Whitewater (I wonder if
Nicholas Whyte[return][return]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 ...more
John Guzzardo
Jan 11, 2015 John Guzzardo rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
When Dave Barry's humor is firing on all cylinders, you need to wear absorbent undergarments to prevent an accident. "Hits Below the Beltway" is Barry at his very best! His extremely sarcastic adaptation of the United States Constitution makes this worth the read on its own. Explains of the Congress, the Presidency and how America deals with its own government makes this book a clinic in biting political commentary. PJ O'Rouke would be proud of this work, and Barry himself hits the ball out of t ...more
Jul 07, 2009 Emily rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book is HILARIOUS!! Just like all of Dave Barry's stuff! This isn't one of his 'normal' collections of columns, though. It's an actual (mostly) cohesive book. I just love the guy! He makes everything SO funny! This is a great parody on politics and modern Washington D.C.--and even 'ancient'! He discusses why we don't have amazing presidents like George Washington, Theodore Roosevelt, and Thomas Edison (HA!) anymore... and also why things take so long in the gov't. Hilarious! Read it!
Greg Coln
Oct 18, 2015 Greg Coln rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Incredibly funny. Dave has a remarkable way to zero in on the excesses of politics, and reminds us not to take ourselves too seriously. As you're reading a lot of the facts about our government, you're laughing but incredulous at the same time. The California Prune Board's tangle with the FDA is just one example. And, if you were up on election night 2000 watching the TV coverage, you'll love that section. Still funny in 2015.
Lee Gunter
Dec 08, 2013 Lee Gunter rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2013
Dave Barry is one of the funniest men currently working in the English language. Which is ironic, since he is from Miami where nobody speaks English.
How can I not love a book that is the closest thing I've found to reflecting my own frustration with American government. AND he has not one, not two, not three... okay, I'm kidding - yes three. Three GBNs (good band name) references. Salute.
May 17, 2016 Lafcadio rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: upper-arm, released
This would probably be pretty good as a weekly column. Turns out that's what Dave Barry is good at. All together in one book is tedious at best. I suppose I could read a few pages and then wait a week and then read a few more, but then it would take me a year to finish this book. I got things to do, man.
David Allen
This sank, ostensibly because of poor timing with 9/11, but possibly because the cover is unappealing and the text has a lot of tired jokes. Chapter 3, which mocks government waste, is sharp, while the rest is all over the place. If the similarly themed "America" by Jon Stewart is a grand slam, this is a bunt.
Joel Simon
Mar 17, 2008 Joel Simon rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is an enjoyable, funny, quick read. Any fan of Dave Barry's will recognize and enjoy his easy, flowing style. There are some laugh out loud moments in this book, particularly his review of the 2000 U.S. presidential election and his review of American history during colonial times. Makes a nice diversion from reading serious books all the time.
Susan Kelley
Although the material is somewhat dated (pre 9/11), I still found the book rather amusing. Barry's take on government is pretty giggle-worthy, though he does take a nearly disc-long sidetrip into everything that makes his homestate of Florida weird.
Jul 27, 2009 Charlynn rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I LOVE Dave Barry. He makes me laugh out loud with every single page. Sometimes it's just a quiet laugh, sometimes I laugh so hard I cry and I can't breathe. He says what we're all thinking, and I am constantly amazed that one person can be so funny and make a point at the same time.
Jan 21, 2016 Martina rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I normally love Dave Barry books and find them very witty and enjoyable. This book was not the case. I felt like he was trying too hard to be funny. He touched a lot on politics, and because the book was written in 2001 it was very dated. I found it disappointing.
Nov 25, 2012 Cathi95 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-2012
I've read Barry before and enjoy his commentary on the world. This one worked well. The only thing I regretted is that it was not more current. Guess I will have to check and see if he has written anything politically slanted since!
Gary Phelps
Jul 14, 2013 Gary Phelps rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A hilariously warped take on the history of American politics that ranks with the best. Even though the writing consists of Barry's trademark surrealist sarcasm, it all makes perfect sense (which is kind of sad if you think about it). The chapter on the presidential election of 2000 is a classic.
Maggie Salisbury
Right up there with Wodehouse as a guaranteed mood lifter. Do not read with food; you might asphyxiate in a fit of hysteria. And bear in mind that "piracy on the low seas is ok" in the Barry Constitution. . .oh, that did it. I can't. . .
Jul 24, 2009 Kathy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Dave Barry is amazing. He can make me laugh; he can make me cry. This wasn't his best book, but it hit the funny bone quite regularly. He pokes fun at all sides of the aisle. Watch out for the giant zucchini. (PS, this one is clean, unlike some of his novels.)
Cathy Gulkin
Jul 24, 2011 Cathy Gulkin rated it liked it
The first half was just a rehash of old Barry stuff. The second half was far funnier, very close to the truth of how things run, but I didn't appreciate his Cuba rant.
May 07, 2007 Amy rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
see comment on other dave barry books... his schtick gets real old real fast, but is "my best friend's mom LOVES him" funny
Jul 23, 2014 Laurie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
a funny read for summer, although slightly dated from 2001, a lot of funny cynical truth still remains. My favorite humorist still.
Feb 25, 2012 Ritja rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: humor-satire, usa
Es sollte satirisch sein und sich mit der Politik der USA beschäftigen. Leider ist es nicht wirklich satirisch und die Handlung ist ein eher flach als unterhaltend.
Mar 27, 2016 Ashlie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book is laugh out loud funny, and I live "inside the beltway". Slightly outdated in a few parts, but generally pretty darn funny.
May 06, 2012 Matt rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I found Barry's columns about politics funny, but necessarily spectacular...until I hit the section of the book describing Miami politics. I was laughing so hard I was crying.
Jul 14, 2008 Virginia rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: humor
I like Dave Barry, but found myself not as into this read. The material is getting a bit dated by now, too.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Last Chapter and Worse
  • The Bride of Anguished English: A Bonanza of Bloopers, Blunders, Botches, and Boo-Boos
  • Dogbert's Top Secret Management Handbook
  • Extra Nutty! Even More Letters from a Nut!
  • Cosbyology: Essays and Observations from the Doctor of Comedy
  • 'Scuse Me While I Kiss This Guy and Other Misheard Lyrics
  • Idiot Letters
  • Definitive Biography of P.D.Q. Bach
  • All I Know About Animal Behavior I Learned In Loehmann's Dressing Room
  • Who Let the Dogs In?: Incredible Political Animals I Have Known
  • Elvis is Dead And I Don't Feel So Good Myself
  • Isaac Asimov's Treasury of Humor
  • The Darwin Awards III: Survival of the Fittest (Darwin Awards, #3)
  • Hope & Glory: The Days That Made Britain
  • Welcome to Jasorassic Park: A FoxTrot Collection
  • Sick From Freedom: African-American Illness and Suffering during the Civil War and Reconstruction
  • Ranting Again
  • Git-R-Done
Dave Barry is a humor columnist. For 25 years he was a syndicated columnist whose work appeared in more than 500 newspapers in the United States and abroad. In 1988 he won the Pulitzer Prize for Commentary. Many people are still trying to figure out how this happened.
Dave has also written a total of 30 books, although virtually none of them contain useful information. Two of his books were used as
More about Dave Barry...

Share This Book

“A short distance away is the Tidal Basin, ringed by cherry trees that every year produce flowers, an event to which Washingtonians react as though it were the Second Coming of Christ.” 14 likes
More quotes…