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

Dave Barry Turns Forty

3.83  ·  Rating details ·  1,728 ratings  ·  66 reviews
"Just the ticket for the '90s."
If you're too young for a nursing home yet too old to be a rock star, if your marriage is as exciting as scraping grass off the lawnmower blades, then this hilarious book by Pulitzer-Prize-winning columnist and author is for you. Put on your protective eyewear and take a probing look inside your increasingly Spam-like
Paperback, 179 pages
Published May 7th 1991 by Ballantine Books (first published 1990)
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 Turns Forty, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Dave Barry Turns Forty

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 3.83  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,728 ratings  ·  66 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of Dave Barry Turns Forty
Nov 03, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: humor, jeri-s-list
Some of his essays here on middle age are hysterical. I especially loved the completely surprising serious bit on caring for aging parents. I was touched and his guilt and sorrow in those few pages really seared my heart. Of course, being Barry, he immediately bounded to more funny business in the next chapter. But his little unexpected cul de sac of grief and remorse was further proof to me that it is darn hard to find humor in caring for your parents in their old age. It is just too sensitive ...more
Tony Laplume
Aug 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I am not making this up: A few weeks back I was given the David Sedaris book I recently read. Sedaris is sort of the most respected humorist of the day. I mentioned Dave Barry to the gifter, and like too many people these days, they said, “Who?” So, remembering that I happened to have a duplicate copy of Dave Barry Does Japan, I offered it to them so they could begin to correct their horrible oversight. But when I got home I realized I had already given away my duplicate copy, two years ago. So ...more
Jan 07, 2009 rated it liked it
Well, I just turned 40 this year and I love Dave Barry. So this feels like a good one to read right now. :-)

The book was written in 1990, so it's a little outdated (Barry turned 40 in 90, while I was in college and just turned 40 in '08). So, there's a lot of stuff that didn't quite meld with today's 40--the music, styles, politics, etc.--but there WAS a lot of stuff that still resonates today with turning 40. The chapter on marriage and sex was hilarious, and the chapter on sports was
Dec 12, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 1990s
This Dave Barry book, titled "Dave Barry Turns 40," was quite funny. I very much enjoyed the booger joke on page 37. Numerous parts, including that part about breakfast cereal, were especially funny! I laughed aloud! Haha!

At the end of the book I was left with the sense that, although I'd just been entertained for an hour and a half, that I'd basically been doing the literary equivalent of shoving peeps up my nose. Peeps the candy, not the slang word for acquaintances.

Dave Barry is exactly as
T.H. Waters
Jul 28, 2019 rated it liked it
Don't get me wrong, I love Dave Barry. I think he's a gifted humorist. It's just that some of his stories fell flat, especially his comment that hinted at thinking his friend was lame for mourning their beloved feline who had just died. Not only would I feel that comment would forever be out of bounds, but it was especially hurtful since I had just lost my very own beloved feline companion who meant the world to me and provided so much joy and comfort in such a sad world. Not cool, Dave Barry, I ...more
Aaron Ambrose
Aug 18, 2018 rated it liked it
Boomer humor, rescued from the discard box at the library where I vacationed this week. I've enjoyed Barry's columns in the past, and this seemed like a breezy end-of-summer read, so I fished it out. It was indeed breezy and amusing, although his tactics for generating laughs become clear and predictable when you ingest more than 20 pages in a sitting. It's still funny, but less so when the mechanics are on display. The humor also deflects from true thought and feeling, except for one strikingly ...more
Oct 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I've been a Dave Barry fan since the first thing I read by him. I've read quite a few of his books since then, as well as his newspaper column before he retired. This book made me laugh a lot because I saw so much truth in what he said about reaching your 40's. I'm over 50 now and need to read his book for that age still. I definitely recommend this book.
Dec 31, 2019 rated it really liked it
Been a while since I read Barry. This entry wasn't as guffawably hilarious as his others that I own, but there were some pretty choice bits. I also loved that he got serious for a section... I was kind of floored by it, actually. Overall, a good time.
Denise Chojnacki
May 07, 2018 rated it really liked it
Another rib tickler by Dave Barry! He has a way of presenting topics that elicit chuckles and laugh out loud moments throughout the book. This particular subject matter had me laughing out loud in places and made me smile throughout. Thanks for the laughs Dave!
Tracie Sneed
Jan 31, 2019 rated it liked it
Use to read his syndicated column for 10 years before he "retired." I love to laugh and he made it happen.
Jul 07, 2019 rated it really liked it
Dorothy Timm
Jun 05, 2019 rated it really liked it
typical humorous Dave Barry read.
Scott Breslove
Jun 09, 2019 rated it liked it
Eh, it was ok.
Kelly Kazek
Jun 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
You can't go wrong by buying a Dave Barry humor collection.
Shawn Cooke
Make no mistake -- this is not a book about turning 40. This is a book about Baby Boomers turning 40. The generation aspect is rife throughout the book, drowning out any reflections that might be more timeless. In fact, when Barry does attempt to find something that applies to all generations, it often is more typical of his generation than his age. I read this upon turning 40 myself, and I couldn't help but remark at how little really felt familiar.

One thing to be aware of -- the typical
Aug 01, 2015 rated it really liked it
"Help me--Dr. Ruth or Dr. Joyce Brothers!"

A rollicking, roller-coaster of a read which definitively proves
that it IS all downhill after the big 4.0! And since the alternative is not worth considering, bring it on! This deliciously-irreverent guide to a guy’s midlife crisis fearlessly treads where bigger fools have sunk in the quagmire of Denial. Shamelessly baring the facts of middle-age-hood (along with his chest) Barry examines signs of aging, safer games, coping with the new era of
Feb 29, 2016 rated it really liked it
This book was literally the last interesting I could have to go to sleep at night. Dave Barry Turns Forty is a somewhat relatable book about the experiences one might go through as they age, including topics like weight, looks, love and so on. Barry has done a well and intriguing job for this lecture as he adds his notorious humor into the topic. I personally found some of his humor to be cringy at some moments, but other times I still laughed out loud. I glad I found this book in my classroom ...more
Sep 23, 2010 rated it liked it
Okay, it's a reread, but it's been, like, ten years since I first read it and I would imagine that if I read it again in ten more years, it'll earn another star.

I'm still peeved he made me cry, in a humor book. (In a good way.)

Anyway, I tripped over it in the used-book store and I'd recently been unable to continue reading this other book of his (but I will later because it's not Dave's fault, but my life's fault.) These things added up to make the rereading of a book I'd remembered pretty much
Dec 30, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I love Dave Barry - I find him absolutely hilarious so pretty much any & all reviews from me are going to read the same unless I manage to find something of his that is actually not funny but that would probably occur in an alternate reality. I would also recommend watching the movie Big Trouble that was adapted from Dave Barry's book of the same name - the cast is all-star [including Tim Allen, Rene Russo, Zooey Deschanel, Stanley Tucci] and is great Dave Barry fun. Of course, if you don't ...more
Deborah Markus
May 22, 2012 rated it really liked it
Okay, YES, I'm officially reading too many books at once. But what you have to understand is, these books are all in *different rooms*. And/or different forms -- one of my "currently reading" books is the audio version, which I only "read" when I'm doing the dishes. Another is only on Kindle. Yet another isn't allowed to leave the bathroom. And I'm actually finishing one or two titles a week. So calm down. Sheesh.
Dec 27, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: humor
I love Dave Barry. Actually I have never met him but I love his work. This book however was not as enjoyable as some of his others due to the fact it was focused almost entirely at baby boomers.

I could easily live the rest of my life without any more references to the sixties or hippy to yuppy cliches.

Don't get me wrong, parts of it were really funny, but I just couldn't overcome the generational handicap.
Jan 16, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone over 50 who wants to be amused
This is the kind of book I would have found stupid and banal when I was in my 20s, 30s and even 40s. Now that I'm in my 60s, I enjoyed it quite a bit. As someone who is about the same age, and definitely the same generation as Mr. Barry, I can understand and relate to just about everything he's saying. I don't think a younger person would enjoy this book. While there are no guffaws here, there are plenty of chuckles, and it was a very fast read.
Feb 09, 2011 rated it liked it
Okay, so maybe the book is a little dated, being like 20 years old, but it still had me laughing so hard that I had to put the book down so I could breathe again. At one point every new sentence just increased my laughter... and I was reading it while in public, rather hoping I didn't look deranged.
Nov 03, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: humor
Despite being over 20 years old this still hits the mark about turning 40. Relative little is really dated. Has a surprisingly touching and serious section on his parents. Which says despite being a humorous look at turning middle age their is a serious side too. Highly recommended if your looking for something lighter in tone to read:
Steven Kent
When Dave Barry turned forty he was at the top of his game... weren't we all.
He was sharp, his jokes were on point, and his ideas were clever. I read this book and loved it. Then I turned forty myself and realized that I not only loved it, I admired it.
Feb 18, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Even though the book is over 20 years old, not much has changed about turning 40! Lots of out-loud laughing reading this book. Would've given it 4 stars, but felt that 4-star books should be more literary! Hilarious book!
Aug 06, 2011 added it
One of my favorites. Explains "How to tell if you're becoming a Republican". Has the explanation of why, when you are trying to remember the name of the person you are talking to, all you can remember are the words to Pineapple Princess. Tells you how to be a geezer. Great stuff.
Aug 31, 2009 rated it liked it
Shelves: humor
If you're familiar with typical Dave Barry material, this one is more of the same. Some good chuckles, but becoming pretty dated (written in 1990). As someone that has a ways to go before getting to 40, I was still laughing at some of Barry's jokes. Fast, easy, forgettable read.
Jolie Root
40? who cares, this is a funny book
Erin Nudi
Oct 02, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2011-books
I laughed out loud several times. Love Dave Barry!
« previous 1 3 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Readers also enjoyed

  • Personal Finance for Dummies
  • The Soul of a Doctor: Harvard Medical Students Face Life and Death
  • Trauma: My Life as an Emergency Surgeon
  • Toward the Midnight Sun
  • Life's Work (Harry Stoner Mystery #6)
  • Not the Duke's Darling (Greycourt, #1)
  • My Sergei: A Love Story
  • The Rose of York: Love & War (The Rose of York Trilogy, #1)
  • Afraid of the Dark: The True Story of a Reckless Husband, his Stunning Wife, and the Murder that Shattered a Family
  • Napalm & Silly Putty
  • It Takes a Village
  • Just Who Will You Be?
  • In Our Defense
  • I Should Have Seen It Coming When The Rabbit Died
  • I'm OK - You're OK
  • Silent Prey (Lucas Davenport, #4)
  • Shock Wave (Virgil Flowers, #5)
  • Final Analysis: The Untold Story of the Susan Polk Murder Case
See similar books…
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