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

Tricky Business

3.65 of 5 stars 3.65  ·  rating details  ·  3,073 ratings  ·  236 reviews
The Extravaganza of the Seas is a five-thousand-ton cash cow, a top-heavy tub whose sole function is to carry gamblers three miles from the Florida coast, take their money, then bring them back so they can find more money. In the middle of a tropical storm one night, these characters are among the passengers it carries: Fay Benton, a single mom and cocktail waitress desper ...more
Hardcover, 320 pages
Published September 30th 2002 by Putnam Adult (first published September 2002)
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 Tricky Business, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Tricky Business

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

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
Patrick Gibson
It’s warped. It pokes outrageous fun at the stupidity in all of us—especially the ‘us’ who live in Florida (not me—those other people), and it uses adult language like I hear it used in the street all the time. It also has all the good stuff we like in a novel: murder, sex, drugs, violence, hijacking, corrupt government officials, inept authorities, and my favorite subject these days, senior citizens on a casino boat. Isn’t that everyone’s favorite subject?
The litany bizarre characters is long a
Some laugh out loud humor with a decent plot and ending. 8 of 10 stars
Dave Barry is an American columnist who, I have to say, can be very, very funny. Some Australian papers carry his columns from time to time, you might have seen them around. He is also a mate of Carl Hiaasen, a fellow journalist-turned-novelist. This book is humorous and light, except for a few acts of extreme violence, but not quite as good as the Hiaasen’s I have read to date, nor as good as Janet Evanovich. It is better than R is for Ricochet, though.

The plot involves several parties, whose p
Christopher Maher
As should be apparent from my book list, I am a great fan of Barry's writing. I am not, however, a fan of this book.
I think this was a bit of a stumble in his follow-up to his first work of fiction, Big Trouble.
First, the good. Barry has a knack for creating entertaining characters and for writing individual scenes of great comedy. The book has a running joke of the news coverage of a hurricane in South Florida which is hilarious and spot-on.
Now the bad. The book as a whole is just not very good
I love Dave Barry, both as a hillarious columnist and as a fiction writer. This book starts out very funny, formulaic but funny. Ok, it is a familair formula (similar to another Florida humorist Carl Hiassen, whom I also follow and enjoy): bad rich developers, bad drug dealers, washed out pothead band, "heart of gold" poor waitresses and immigrants - so far so good. A pair of octogenarians and a few local newscasters - just hilarious. (The reader of audiobook - marvelous - with great NY accents ...more
Typical Barry

Reasonably enjoyable due to Barry's humor. The humor does become repetitious after a while and there is one scene which is unnecessarily violent and gory that doesn't fit the rest of the book.
Courtney Duncan
This was the first fiction novel I have read by Dave Barry, and to be honest with you, I didn't even know he had written any fiction until I stumbled across a bunch of his books at my library. When I saw them, I really had no choice but to check one out. I was a little nervous- I mean, I am a huge fan of Dave Barry's humorous works, and have been since I was just a kid. So I was worried that his fiction might be disappointing.
I shouldn't have been. This was the kind of novel that no one but Dave
Anyone who has read Dave Barry's columns is already intimately familiar with South Florida and Miami: the drug trade, the senior citizens, the weather-related fearmongering of local news, etc. All of these are present in Tricky Business, Barry's second fiction book (after the highly acclaimed Big Trouble). I'm obliged to compare Barry to a funnier Elmore Leonard, and the comparison holds in part: both feature large casts and complex plots, though Leonard's pacing tends to be slower than Barry's ...more
Kilian Metcalf
I didn't expect to enjoy this book as much as I did. I knew Barry could be hilarious in his essays, but I had never read any of his fiction. I picked the book to fill a square in the Bingo game run every summer by Books on the Nightstand. I needed an author born in the same year I was. My choices were Stephen King, Octavia Butler, Temple Grandin, and Dave Barry. I'm running out of time, so I picked the Barry book because it was short and cheap. I discovered that it is also very, very funny. I ac ...more
I'm not normally a fan of violence in movies or books, but this was really funny and clever. What happens to the Newsplex-9 team is about as close to slapstick as you can get in a book. It's my first Dave Barry book, but it won't be the last!
Dave Barry can be very funny. The TV weather team's ongoing coverage of a hurricane in this book is fall down hilarious. However, there is not enough funny in this book and and too much gross: torture involving cutting off human appendages (take a guess), way too much fellatio, and (yes, I was already aware that Dave Barry is FAMOUS for his juvenile humor) ralphing and farting taken way past being funny and into the pathological.

Before the book starts, Barry warns readers that there are "dirty
Luffy Monkey D.
I don't know why this scores less than Big Trouble, because Tricky Business is definitely funnier than the latter. Not only that, it's smarter and more imaginative. Unfortunately, the surprise factor of Big Trouble had worn off. Still, the gags are hilarious and if you tell them to your friends, you'll get laugh out loud laughs. Just like Big Trouble, this book is funniest in the first few chapters, after which the plot thickens and the jokes dry up. For such a good book there's quite a few pag ...more
Tom Loock
A very quick read, a few chuckles, the odd snort (the good kind), but overall nothing to get excited about, sadly nowhere near as funny as Big Trouble and very predictable.
Some situations are resolved 'miraculously' as even Dave Barry admits in the text and (view spoiler).
Hi. My name is Diane, and I'm a mystery/crime novel addict.
Okay addict might be too much. Mystery and crime novels are my guilty pleasure. (or is that just denial?)
I have loved mystery novels ever since I first spotted the gamboge spines of the Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew on a bookshelf in my father's office. Or maybe it was when my mother gave me her The Bobbsey Twins' Mystery at School from when she was a girl. I enjoy several other Floridan newspaper columnists-cum-crime novelists, most notabl
No list of funny books could be complete without including Dave Barry, and I actually paused for several minutes while trying to decide which of his many books to discuss. I finally selected his second novel, Tricky Business, which is set, of course, in Florida. Briefly, it’s the story of what happens when a cast of colorful and eccentric characters all end up on a gambling ship off the coast of Florida during one of the worst hurricanes in memory. But, it’s also much more than just that.

When ta
Okay, so Dave Barry isn't Italo Calvino or David Mitchell or one of the Japanese geniuses (whose names I would have to look up before attempting to write them here) but he HATES what has happened to Florida and has (like Carl Hiaasen) taken his revenge on the scumbag developers by writing them into his books. And for that he gets a top rating from me (not to mention that he's really funny).
Tricky business is filled with the usual arsenal of Dave Barry characters --- as mentioned above the scumba
Kimarie Lamberson
I loved to read Dave Barry's newspaper columns when I was a kid, he is one of my favorite humorous authors. When I found out that he had written a fiction novel, Big Trouble, I read it and loved it. It was made into a movie, which is also one of my favorites. I looked him up recently to see if he had any other books and found this one. I liked this book as much as Big Trouble. It follows the same sort of pattern with the "main" character being a sort of flawed but likable guy who stumbles into o ...more
Hilarious. This was my first exposure to Dave Barry and I found it delightfully unedifying. Although I had a hard time initially warming up to the cast of characters most of whom are created to be comedically pathetic (the leader of a mediocre band, a single mom cocktail waitress, a pair of elderly gentlemen clinging tenaciously to life among others), as their plot lines intertwined and the stormy night at sea on a casino boat heated up, I found I couldn't put the book down or stop laughing. I n ...more
I half wonder if my 3-Star rating is due to the length of time it took me to read this book. Not that it had anything to do with my feelings on the subject, rather personal life just took me away from books for a while. However, sharing my brother's sentiment, I have only seen the movie Big Trouble and have not read it, but found that story funnier than this. There was certainly some quirkiness to the characters, and the impending "catastrophe" was enough to keep me interested. With the large ca ...more
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Garrett Zecker
I read this as a once-devotee, and I have to say I was not entirely impressed with it. It was not nearly as good as Big Trouble, in my opinion, and I am not sure that that is entirely Barry's fault. There are a lot of fun things in the text - the names that are double meanings and other plays on situational comedic genius that you can only do in the format of the written word, but Barry has done it much better in the past. I think what Barry is starting to do is move into his retirement as a nov ...more
With Tropical Storm Hector bearing down on the Atlantic Coast of Florida, a motley cast of characters find themselves going to work or seeking fun aboard The Extravaganza of the Seas - a cruise ship that heads out to international waters off the U.S. coast in order to allow its patrons to gamble to their heart's content. However, the ship also serves a seedier purpose, the Mafia uses the ship as a transaction point where money is swapped for large amounts of cocaine and marijuana destined for sa ...more
David Caldwell
A mix of quirky characters are all heading towards a wild adventure on a casino ship cruise off the southern Florida coast during a tropical storm. The characters include a couple of elderly gentlemen wanting to get away from their retirement facility, several mobsters, a cover band that smokes too much pot, a guy dressed as a conch, and many others.

This is a mix of absurd comedy and mobster crime story. There are plenty of laughs and double crosses. This is more of an ensemble piece than any
People's magazine hit the nail on the head when it described Dave Barry's novels as, 'Elmore Leonard on laughing gas.' A good effort by funny man Dave Barry who leads the readers into a web of money laundering, murder, violence, and undercover work. Looking forward to reading more from him.
Jobiska (Cindy)
I love Dave Barry's columns and his humor books, so I gave this the ol' college try, and got enough into it to find it wasn't for me. It seemed pretty clear that I was to root for one or two people only and the descriptions of the other people were so over the top as to be caricatures--perhaps a style that fits better in his other genres. I'll pass it along and hope someone else appreciates it!
Vaughn W
I was familiar with the comedian Dave Berry, but had not been acquainted with the author Dave Berry. I was pleased with the results of this work of fiction. The pacing was good and I cared about the principal characters. It is a fast read and well worth the time to do so.
It was an entertaining, briskly-paced caper. As with Big Trouble, the bad guys are borderline idiots and most of the protagonists don't know they're protagonists, which Barry pulls off in a very entertaining fashion. There are bouts of inane conversation that go on for pages at a time, but that's sort of his trademark, so asking him not to do that would be like asking Elvis to hold off on the hip-swiveling.

Barry manages to fill the 300+ pages with the events of just one night, casting viewpoint
This is a book that is supposed to be humorous, and it does hit a few chords but making a funny book is hard. It does reveal a cynical view of South Florida that I suspect is accurate. And there are many interesting characters. A good summer read but nothing profound.
Evidently the Wacky Florida Crime-Fiction genre is limitless; I figured Carl Hiaasen and Tim Dorsey had that genre pretty sewed up, and then along comes Dave Barry, another newspaper columnist-turned-novelist. While evocative of Hiaasen and Dorsey, Barry keeps his plot development a little tighter and doesn't have as many plot threads mucking up the works. The unfortunately-titled "Tricky Business" involves a gambling cruise ship that goes 3 miles off the Miami coast to ostensibly run a legitima ...more
Rena Sherwood
Barry's funniest fiction book, set in Miami and just offshore of Miami. The scary thing is that I think I've met a couple of the characters Barry describes, including the guy who danced so hard he falls to the floor and continues dancing.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 99 100 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
can reading challenge include non-kindle 2 3 Jan 03, 2015 01:39PM  
  • Florida Straits
  • Triggerfish Twist (Serge Storms, #4)
  • Bahamarama
  • Naked Came the Manatee
  • Fender Benders
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...
Peter and the Starcatchers (Peter and the Starcatchers, #1) Peter and the Shadow Thieves (Peter and the Starcatchers, #2) Peter and the Secret of Rundoon (Peter and the Starcatchers, #3) Big Trouble Peter and the Sword of Mercy (Peter and the Starcatchers, #4)

Share This Book