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Best. State. Ever.: A Florida Man Defends His Homeland

3.80  ·  Rating details ·  4,188 ratings  ·  738 reviews
A brilliantly funny exploration of the Sunshine State from the man who knows it best: Pulitzer Prize winner and New York Times–bestselling author Dave Barry.

We never know what will happen next in Florida. We know only that, any minute now, something will. Every few months, Dave Barry gets a call from some media person wanting to know, “What the hell is wrong with Florida?”
Hardcover, 256 pages
Published September 6th 2016 by G.P. Putnam's Sons (first published September 2016)
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Greg Elaine, about bugs, that's why I live high up in a high rise: less puddles of water, and really, the further away from dirt one gets, the less likely …moreElaine, about bugs, that's why I live high up in a high rise: less puddles of water, and really, the further away from dirt one gets, the less likely there will be all sorts of things one doesn't want around ( except for whiny people.....and there are a LOT of them in Florida...)(less)

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Average rating 3.80  · 
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Tom Mathews
I have long been a fan of Dave Barry. Back when I was a young lad pondering what it was that made women so different from us male types I happened upon this cogent observation by Barry, then a columnist for the Miami Herald.
If a woman has to choose between catching a fly ball and saving an infant's life, she will choose to save the infant's life without even considering if there are men on base.
Wow! How could I not make the source of such wisdom one of my go-to guys when it comes to the subject
"So we have an apparent contradiction: On the one hand, the national consensus is that Florida is a stupid weird insane dysfunctional hellhole that is also – I forgot to mention this earlier – a hurricane zone that is soon going to be largely submerged when global climate change causes the seas to rise to the point where vast heards of lobsters roam what is now Interstate 95. On the other hand, people keep coming here. And most of them – even the non-stupid ones – decide to stay here. Th
Jun 30, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: those who want to visit places in Florida that are off the beaten path
Shelves: usa
Before joining Good Reads, I had read a few Dave Barry books – most of them had me laughing out loud, almost to the point of crying. When we were at Miami International Airport recently, my daughter and I headed to the bookstore as soon as we could. We were waiting to board our flight back to the small island where we live, an island where there are no proper bookstores. Whenever we get to travel, we shop as much as we can and crave bookstores like you wouldn’t believe. Anyway, I digress. I saw ...more
Cindy Burnett
Jul 07, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: net-galley
4.5 stars

Dave Barry is hilarious. In Best. State. Ever., he focuses his brilliant comedic mind on his home state of thirty years, Florida. In order to write this book, he travels around the state, sometimes alone and at other times with a friend, seeking out Florida’s most interesting locales. As the book begins, Barry states that he believes Florida has gotten a bad rap ever since the 2000 election and the whole “hanging chad” incident. As a result, he decided to write this book to help change
Mar 22, 2017 rated it really liked it
Good humor as always from Dave Barry, as he takes us through much of Florida. 7 of 10 stars
Jul 14, 2016 rated it it was amazing
From my days as a spring chicken to now, when I'm officially an old hen, one thing has been a constant: I love to laugh. And one person on whom I can count to make me yuck it up - whether via a syndicated newspaper column or one of his books - is Dave Barry. So when the publisher offered me the chance to read and review an advance copy of his newest effort, I said bring it on.

It is, thank goodness, rather short - I finished the whole thing in a couple of hours. Had it been much longer, I'm sure
Sep 30, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This guy is soooo funny. To really appreciate this book it is best if you are from the north and have lived in Florida for awhile. However, it's funny no matter what. He talks about some silly places in Florida. Of course not places I take people who visit. ...more
Best. State. Ever. by Dave Barry is a very humorous and delightful look at the state of Florida. One of the advantages of retirement has been the ability to travel. We have been able to spend a lot of time in Florida for the last few years, and what can I say? I love our time here. The dedication by Dave Barry may say it all:
To my fellow Floridians:
Don't ever sober up.

Barry begins with a brief history of Florida, which still continues to fascinate me. He discusses when the Spanish explorers
Jul 17, 2016 rated it it was amazing
ARC for review. EPD September 6, 2016.

Reasons this book gets five stars:

1. It made me laugh out loud. Twice. Books hardly ever make me laugh out loud.

2. The dedication: "To my fellow Floridians: Don't ever sober up."

3. The beginning: "Every few months I get a call from some media person wanting to interview me about Florida where I have lived for three decades. The tone of the interview is never positive, or even neutral. The interviewer never asks: Why do you live in Florida? Or: "What do you
Craig Pittman
Sep 18, 2016 rated it really liked it
This may be the best non-fiction book Dave Barry has ever written. No, I am not making that up. And I'm not just saying it because I read it in two days.

Barry, who won a Pulitzer for commentary back when he was a Miami Herald columnist, wrote this book to defend the state he's lived in for 30 years against all the slings and arrows of people in other states who are always laughing at Florida. He starts off by explaining why the other states shouldn't sneer at Florida, and why he loves it, and th
Michel Avenali
Oct 29, 2016 rated it liked it
An interesting and funny book about Florida best appreciated by those of us who live here. Having lived in South Florida for way longer than I like to think on, a lot of it resonated with me and some of the anecdotes had me either smiling or laughing at how true they were. That being said, this is a book that is written by and for an older demographic (baby boomers); a generation that can relate better to the author and some of the anecdotes. Overall, it was a fun quick read that read like a ver ...more
Sarah Swann
Sep 10, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I loved being able to read his while Hurricane Irma is going over my beloved state right now. It took my mind off of what was happening and gave me good feelings about Florida. And I even recognized one of the landmarks that I have driven by quite a lot (the dinosaur). This book made me laugh out loud quite a bit and I was nodding at so many things he was saying as a fellow Floridian. Loved it!
Nov 08, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: florida, humor, travel
Dave Barry uses his trademark wit to roast his home state. In this book, Barry visits Key West, a Miami club, a retirement community, and several roadside attractions in an attempt to figure out why Florida is considered to be so weird. The writing is funny, but there is also a sense of sadness as he encounters people who seem to be lost in a rapidly changing state.
The Dusty Jacket
Mar 10, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Poor Florida. A state that has become synonymous with all things weird, daft, looney, loco, nutty, and just plain one-beer-short-of-a-six-pack crazy. Don’t believe me? Just Google “Florida Man” along with your birth month and day and ten times out of ten (or REALLY close to it), a corresponding headline will pop up. For example, on my birthday, this made the headlines: “Naked Florida man breaks into home, tries on woman’s clothes, police say”. See? Well let me tell you something. Dave Barry is S ...more
Fred Forbes
Sep 15, 2016 rated it really liked it
Interesting that this is published so soon after "Oh, Florida" discussing our weirdness and the effect on other states. That book took a higher tone but vulgar and sophomoric can do it for me now and then, especially in a book by a fellow boomer discussing my home state and places I know and love. Enjoyed his research into all the hot sex in "The Villages", the shark dying in a traffic accident, the exclusive club in the Fountainbleau, etc. But, especially as one who has enjoyed "a cool refreshi ...more
Peter Tillman
Jan 22, 2020 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Dave Barry & Florida fans
One never knows with humor for others, but Dave Barry is a reliable source for me.
A couple of highlights:
● One-stop shopping at the Florida Citrus Center. For all your wind chime and gator-head needs!
● Trying out machine-guns at Miami's Lock & Load. A Package Deal for around $200 includes 100 rounds of ammo. Dave adds 25 shots with a Glock for an extra $29.
● Many, many refreshing beers with an old pal in Key West. Jimmy Buffet tunes are big there.

Second read, I think.
Paul Pessolano
Oct 05, 2016 rated it really liked it
“Best State Ever” by Dave Barry, published by G.P. Putnam’s Sons.

Category – Humor Publication Date – September 06, 2016.

Since the 2000 election, and maybe before that, the State of Florida has become a State of the weird, impossible, unbelievable, and downright crazy. Dave Barry who lives in and loves the State will even admit to this but also tries to defend Florida in his latest book.

Dave doesn’t deny the fact that Florida tries to hide its cockroaches by calling them Palmetto Bugs. He also tr
Oct 20, 2016 rated it liked it
Classic Dave Barry. I remember as a teenager sitting at my parents' table eating dinner and my Dad reading Dave Barry's column about the exploding whale. If you haven't read it, then you need to find it online. Then go to youtube and watch the video. Dave Barry hasn't changed a bit in almost 30 years. This is one of his many non-fiction (loosely applied here) books. His adult fiction is, well, pretty adult. His juvenile fiction is awesome: the Peter and the Starcatchers series, Science Fair, etc ...more
Oct 12, 2016 rated it liked it
I lived in Florida for a few years on the Space Coast. I loved that it never snowed. I could get good Italian food at my choice of a crazy number of Italian restaurants, and the people watching was Olympic level awesome. I prefer Gatorland to Disney, and the sunsets are incredible. This book is a laugh out loud homage to all the crazy of Florida while retaining why people seem to love its quirky charm. And I really did laugh out loud several times. However, I wish Barry had included a few more F ...more
Oct 15, 2018 rated it really liked it
Barry has always been a writer who can make the reader laugh out loud regardless of the subject but when the subject is Florida -- well, he's a master. I lived in Florida and he absolutely nails the way that people from elsewhere react to the crazy stuff that happens in Florida by saying "what is wrong with people down there? or how can you live there?" Trust me when I say that the same thought crosses the minds of most people particularly when a new arrival first becomes a resident, but after a ...more
Angela Hunt
Dec 30, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Dave Barry always cracks me up. As a fellow native Floridian (or maybe he's not native?), I related to a lot of his stories. Florida is quirky, but wonderful, and I hope it stays that way and is not overly influenced by all the folks who migrate here from Somewhere Else.

Funny book, only wish it had been longer!
Erin Bomboy
Mar 28, 2020 rated it liked it
As someone who lived in Florida for six years (Naples for two, Fort Lauderdale for four), I can attest that it is a weird, sometimes trashy state filled with folks whose hometowns wouldn't claim them. Although there are nice areas (Sarasota, pretty much), most of it is filled with identical neighborhoods of cookie-cutter Spanish-styled homes and large, scary insects.

I could go on (and on) about my bizarre experiences Florida (these include, but are not limited to, living in an apartment complex
Sep 06, 2016 rated it it was amazing
“Best. State. Ever. A Florida Man Defends His Homeland,” is Dave Barry’s paean to his adopted state of Florida. Dave Barry is always funny, but this book is a masterpiece of hilarity. I giggled, laughed out loud, and even guffawed my way through it. It is not a long book, but it is chock-full of oddities, interesting eccentric people, Florida-specific sights, and it almost makes the reader want to rush down there and partake in the fun.

Barry travels around his state visiting authentic Florida at
Jan 22, 2019 rated it liked it
A lighthearted, humorous look at the history of Florida. The angle is: this is my state and it is better than your state. Okay, fair enough, but things get a little tedious when that is the starting point. This book could be considered the opposite of a page turner.
Dec 03, 2016 rated it liked it
Hilarious. Laugh out loud funny. Classic Dave Barry. I do love my adopted state. Even if mullets and scrunchies and reptile stores abound.
Really funny! This book made me happy. Most of it is Dave Barry traveling around Florida, and these are the best bits! <3
May 27, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: humor
Dave Barry was one of the first columnists I ever read religiously, going back 30+ years now. I looked forward every New Year to his annual recap of the year prior; I've read his non-fiction memoirs, I've read his novels and I've gone to see him speak when he gave a presentation in my town. For some inexplainable reason that I can't possibly fathom, I haven't picked up a Barry book in about 3 or 4 years. Big mistake. Reading "Best. State. Ever...." brought me back to the unbridled joy I feel whe ...more
Apr 01, 2019 rated it really liked it
The funniest thing he has written in years. I love those old tourist places.
Nov 18, 2020 rated it really liked it
Whether you love it or hate it, Florida certainly isn’t dull. I laughed so hard because unfortunately, it’s all true.
Apr 24, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Quick, fun read full of witty anecdotes. This is my first Dave Barry book but I'm thinking it won't be my last. ...more
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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

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