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Big Trouble

3.79 of 5 stars 3.79  ·  rating details  ·  9,850 ratings  ·  520 reviews
In the city of Coconut Grove, Florida, these things happen: A struggling adman named Eliot Arnold drives home from a meeting with the Client From Hell. His teenage son, Matt, fills a Squirtmaster 9000 for his turn at a high school game called Killer. Matt's intended victim, Jenny Herk, sits down in front of the TV with her mom for what she hopes will be a peaceful evening ...more
Mass Market Paperback, 317 pages
Published January 1st 2001 by Berkley Books (first published September 13th 1999)
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The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas AdamsGood Omens by Terry PratchettLamb by Christopher MooreThe Princess Bride by William GoldmanMe Talk Pretty One Day by David Sedaris
Best Humorous Books
79th out of 2,914 books — 5,580 voters
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Books that Make you Laugh
204th out of 2,275 books — 3,264 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Nov 20, 2007 Roni rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: everybody who doesn't mind a bit of swearing and likes a good laugh
Shelves: books-i-own
This is one of my two favorite books. It was HILLARIOUS! I really can't say what my favorite part is. It could be either time when Matt attempts to shoot Jenny with a water gun. Or maybe it's the incident with Arthur Herk and the toad who has hallucinigenic poisin. Or perhaps the traffic jam caused by goats. Anyways, this book puts the characters in the most ridiculus situations, and it turns out funny. This book has made me laugh like no other book I have read. I most definitly would reccomend ...more
Oct 17, 2010 Micah rated it 2 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: people with a higher tolerance for zany non-sequitor humor than I have
Shelves: humor
There's a certain kind of rococo, hyperactive plotting that you tend to see from authors who aren't used to writing stories with a great deal of plot -- they understand that "plot" tends to denote Characters Doing Things, so everyone is constantly Doing Things, or on their way to go Do Things, or arguing about how they have to Do Things and how This Other Thing They Are Doing is interfering with this goal. The plot pushes the characters briskly from one Terribly Exciting Situation to another, an ...more
When I first saw this book, I thought what you're all thinking - Dave Barry wrote a book? A real book? This cannot be!

And yet it can. And it is. And it's awesome.

One of the major themes in Barry's newspaper column is that South Florida is insane. Things happen in Florida that could never happen anywhere else. Hell, has a special tag for stories from Florida, such as:

"Congresswoman accuses filmmaker of taking her support of Castro assassination out of context. "
"Man hires taxi to drive h
An entertaining caper with some laugh-out-loud moments. Likely to appeal to fans of Carl Hiaasen and Tim Dorsey.
eighteen majillion stars. this man knows how to tell a story. negative. make that several dozen stories all tied together and NOT annoyingly cliche like "crash" or "babel", but actually hysterical, in the kind of way that makes you want to laugh and be afraid for humanity at the same time.

it's actually a thriller (no kidding.) and i promise, you won't be able to put it down.
I found the book mildly amusing, which was disappointing because usually I think Dave Barry is laugh-out-loud funny. I feel misled by the Stephen King blurb on the cover, which said that he fell out of his chair laughing while reading this book. I spent my journey through the book wondering what in the world he thought was that funny. I still haven't figured it out.
Josh White
Interesting read. Light and breezy, occasionally caused me to stop reading and laugh to myself. Feels like the book version of a forgettable action/crime/comedy movie from the mid nineties. That's actually a compliment.
My God, this book was awesome. I read it while in Hawaii doing some consulting for a few months. I am a lifelong (I'm talking age 9, give or take) fan of Dave's, but had never heard of this book before I saw it in a used bookstore in Honolulu.

Obviously, since his usual metier is newspaper humor columns, I wondered how this would work out. In fact, the result was the best possible leverage of his general sense of humor into a hilarious send-up of a suspense novel. I don't read a ton of Grisham or
Steven Kent
So it's October, 2002, and I have just touched down in Moscow on a business trip. In the morning, I will be touring the city with Alexey Pajitnov, the creator of Tetris; but guess what, I have the worst case of jet lag I have ever had.

Let me set the scene. Moscow was in a state of turmoil at the time, and crime was rampant. There were stories about gangs kidnapping American businessmen. I was not technically a businessman, but I was American and there was no way skittish Mr. Kent was going for a
This is the least funny collection of words I've ever read from Dave Barry. Instead of his usual hilariously takes on real-world foibles, Barry gives us a novel re-pleat with wacky characters and unlikely situations. Strangely enough, this novel has a stronger heart than funny bone, as I came to care for the collection of befuddled single parents, lovelorn cops and not too-cool teens as they try to prevent idiots from nuking Miami.

Alas, the silly situations lack much of Barry's trademark wit, as
Mark Palmer
I usually like Dave Barry's humor, and I like zany stories. But this first "novel" I found to be a mess to get through, and I really didn't enjoy it.
I can't believe that I have not reviewed this book yet. This was one of the funniest books I have ever read. This is another book that I picked up at an airport before a flight, and I think I almost finished it while flying cross country. I do know for sure that when I was disembarkeing (still reading as I was walking off the plane) some guy tapped me on the shoulder and asked what I had been reading. Turns out that he had been sitting behind me, and he said that I had been laughing out loud for ...more
Şimdi bu "okuduğum en kötü kitaplar" listesinde, en azından benim. Çünkü arka kapağa bakarsak gülmekten yerlere yuvarlananlar mevcut, okuyan hemen herkesin yorumu bu. Tüm günü dışarıda/otobüste geçireceğimi düşünerek eğlenmek, hafif bir okuma yapmak düşüncesiyle yanıma aldığım bu kitap resmen kabusum oldu. İzlediğiniz komedi filmlerindeki tüm klişelerin bir araya getirilmişi diye düşünün, bunu AHS gibi süper bir yoldan değil, yine klişe ve ucuz bir yoldan yaptığını. Anlatırken bile midem bulanıy ...more
This is the hilarious story of a group of South Florida "wierdos," who are (most of them accidentally) embroiled in a rather life-threatening escapade. The writing reminds me a little of Buffy, and the book actually references Buffy a couple of times. I was literally laughing out loud on several occasions. I know there's a movie made from this book, but it probably isn't as funny because the funniest thing about this is the descriptions of the background and the characters' internal motivations. ...more
I liked this..
I liked all the characters, their flaws, their mistakes, their good points (there were a few).. I liked the whole load of trouble they managed to get themselves into..
I liked it all...
but then I was bound to, I am a fan of Carl Hiaasen .. and I felt this was like reading a simpler version of one of his books..
I guess this will come from both being set in the same sort of place, with the same characters to draw on for stories.......
Ah, crime in Florida. Noted humorist Dave Barry takes a swing, and the result is not as smart as Elmore Leonard or Carl Hiassen, not as discomforting as Charles Willeford, nowhere near as thoughtful as John D. MacDonald, and not as totally freaking off-the-wall as Tim Dorsey. But it's a fun read nonetheless, and recommended as a poolside book with an umbrella drink in hand. I'll definitely look for the follow-up, TRICKY BUSINESS.
This is one wacky story! It had me laughing in quite a few spots. Leave it to Dave Barry to pull this type of story off. Outrageous without going way over the top so as to become stupid. Btw... I will always be reminded of this story whenever I see a squirt gun or "Super Soaker". Ha! Ha! Ha!

Note: This was a book that I received from a member at

Zakariah Johnson
Absolutely hysterical, the pages just fly by.
In the intro to this book, Barry has this warning: "this is not a book for youngsters". He should have added "nor for anyone with more brain cells than a dog or celery" (which according to Barry is equivalent). This has got to be the most idiotic book I have ever read. So
What does that make me?
So apparently there is an entire genre devoted to slap stick based around the fact that Florida is an absurd state. My best description of this book is a poor man's Hiaasen. This is his first work, so it is a valiant effort, but compared to Hiaasen (and Dorsey, even though he is a more acquired taste), this just didn't do much for me. It is still funny and enjoyable, but loses some credibility when a moron bum/thief manages to drag two hostage, a gun, and a nuke through airport security and get ...more
While the book is just as funny as anything else written by Barry (and that's saying something), as a novel it's overall a rather poor work. Most of the time the book just seems to want to make you laugh, and it succeeds. But there are also many times when the book seems to want you to take it seriously, and this is extremely difficult given how much the plot relies on ridiculous coincidences, contrived and unrealistic storytelling, and very one-dimensional characters. Ultimately, the novel leav ...more
Luffy Monkey D.
Big Trouble reminds me of the movie Scary Movie, due to the strict policy of making jokes while keeping the plot moving. The first half of Big Trouble was very funny, the latter half not at all. The book is very entertaining, though sometimes it loses its lightness and there is not a total lack of expletives and/or nudity(twice). It was a bit sad how the young lovers i.e Matt and Jenny decided to forgo their love - though not their friendship - for the benefit of their elders. Altogether, I'm g ...more
If there's anything missing from Dave Barry's "Big Trouble," I don't know what it is. It's got humor, action, romance, adults, teens, thrills, crime, corruption, bribery, current events (even though it was written 15 years ago), popular culture, immigration issues, terrorism issues, weapons issues, and, even though Barry makes a joke of it in his introductory material, a plot. Of course, Dave Barry wrote this (not Hemingway or anyone like that). So, don't expect capital-L Literature here. But, f ...more
How funny was this book? By the time I was finished I had a stomach ache from all the laughing.
Susan Andrews
Dave Barry has always made me laugh. He has a wonderful sense of humor that keeps me engaged, and in a work of fiction, his humor is particularly brilliant. He reminds me a lot of another favorite author, W. Bruce Cameron.

I loved this book! I finished it on the plane from Atlanta to Denver and had time to spare. I think the gentleman next to me was uncomfortable with my occasional giggle and snort. :) I would recommend it to anyone interested in a light hearted novel. I thought the movie was sub
Eugenia O'Neal
This was laugh-out-loud funny! I thoroughly enjoyed it!
Not exactly deep reading, but chock full 'o absurdist fun
This is one of the funniest books I have ever read! I have read most of Dave Barry's short comedy books, about 30 of them. I had no idea that he could make a novel be as funny as those books were! As I read this book, I was laughing out loud, both at the DMV and at home! I was so entranced by the plot, as well as amused by Dave's characteristic use of funny phrasing (such as, "intelligence as deep as mayonnaise.") He really hit the spot with this fast-paced, wonderful, and almost believable myst ...more
Wild and crazy...always makes me laugh!
I'd read this book when I was much much younger (probably around 2002) and I think most of the story went over my head. I remembered enjoying the story and writing style, but not much of the plot.

I approached the reread with caution: something that was amusing as a 13 year old was not necessarily something I'll find amusing now. I was so pleasantly surprised! Dave Barry is definitely as funny as I remember, and the book in general was a breezy and amusing yarn. It's definitely a good airplane r
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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
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) Peter and the Sword of Mercy (Peter and the Starcatchers, #4) Dave Barry Is Not Making This Up

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