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1.0 out of 5 starsNot Barry at his best
Reviewed in the United States on July 15, 2011
Not Barry at his best. Rather than exaggerating the truth for humor as he usually does, this book is artificial and mean. Scott Adams is also mean but based on truth -- which makes Dilbert funny.
Reviewed in the United States on February 14, 2006
I'm in the middle of reading the Enron story, "The Smartest Guys in the Room", and decided to take a brief intermission. And what should I find on the shelf but "Claw Your Way to the Top" by Dave Barry. It's one of the few Barry books that I've missed, and very appropriate while I'm in "Let's Try to Dissect the Corporation" mode. Except that maybe I shouldn't have sat down to read it right there in the Public Library, since it was work trying to stifle my laughter and not disturb other patrons.
Because "Claw Your Way to the Top" was written in 1986, before the rise and fall of Enron, there are no references to Kenneth Lay and his cronies, though Lee Iacocca's name does come up a few times. Similar to Scott Adams ("Dilbert"), Dave Barry's insights into corporate BS are right on the $$$ money, as truthful as they are hilarious. Of course when all the hilarity destroys peoples' lives and livelihoods, it's not so funny, but Barry's book doesn't cover that. Instead it's comic relief from the sobering and sordid truth of such travesties as Enron. Take a timeout and treat yourself to some corporate humor, courtesy of Dave Barry. If you fail to find this book funny, you must be one of those psychopathic suits we should all fear...
This book was written in 1986. Although it is decent, it is probably the only Dave Barry book in my collection that I don't re-read occasionally. The jokes just seemed a bit staged as compared to his later writing, because the book doesn't reference any true life stories. If that's what you prefer, then this book will suit you fine, but I prefer the "I'm-Not-Making-This-Up" stories of actual events that are his trademark. If you are looking for a humor book on the topic of corporate America, then this is a good choice. However, if you just want to read some funny Dave Barry, then try one of his later books, such as one of his compilations of short articles.
5.0 out of 5 starsSadly, this is a documentary on corporate life
Reviewed in the United States on February 15, 2000
Before Dilbert, there was Dave Barry's "Claw Your Way to the Top". I bought this book in 1986, two years after I graduated from college before there was Amazon. I laughed so hard and it was all so true. This book will prepare any naieve university senior for "real life". I think the best part of the book is the section on firing people. Of course the alternative is to let the two big Brunos poke out your eyes with hot knitting needles. This book is wonderful and I recommend it as a graduation present for any graduating senior.
I have never laughed so hard at any book. I've bought over 25 copies of it for friends over the years and often quote from it. In 1987 my friend Regina and I were interviewing a young man named Brian; we told him, "If you find this book funny, you'll enjoy working with us. If not, you'll enjoy working with everyone else here!" He came in the next day and told us his favorite part, and we hired him. This book is a classic illustration of the principle that really great humor is based on truth.
This is one of the funniest books I've ever read. I'm surprised that some of the other readers below didn't find it as humorous as later Dave Barry works, because I end up on the floor whenever I reread this. the sections on meetings, on resumes, on office attire--all brilliantly funny. I guess it helps to have been a disenchanted office employee at least once in your life. But if you've tried climbing the corporate ladder and have decided that there's no worse fate, this book is for you!
Though not as good as his later works, definitely worth buying, though 'Dave Barry's Guide To Life' is also availiable on Amazon.com and contains this and three other works of similiar quality and length by the same author, while being slightly cheaper than this edition alone. Recommended.
...amusing, occasionally laugh out loud funny, but ultimately as memorable as a Debbie's Snack Cake. I'm a diehard Barry fan, and highly recommend Big Trouble. This one, though - buy it used, read and sell.