Eric_W's Reviews > Big Trouble

Big Trouble by Dave Barry
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's review
Dec 08, 2008

really liked it
bookshelves: humor
Read in January, 1997

I believe this is Dave Barry's first novel, and what a beginning! Barry has been described as a mutated combination of Carl Hiaasen and Elmore Leonard. His writing is hysterical and this book will have you falling out of your chair or wetting your pants. The plot is simple: what do a hallucinogenic toad, two hit men, an embezzler, two teenagers who want to play a game called Killer that uses squirt guns, two FBI agents, Special Executive Order 768 dash 4, a very strong homeless man named Puggy and a Spanish-speaking maid named Nina, two lowlifes named Snake and Eddie, two Russian Mafia types who who a bar that makes no money, a herd of goats, a boa constrictor loose at the Delta Airlines counter, and a suitcase nuclear bomb have in common? Every page almost has a good belly laugh as Barry skewers Miami's finest corrupt institutions. The rollicking story gets right off to a good start as almost all the parties meet at Arthur Herk's house for a variety of reasons. The Herk family has a family dog, the product of generations of unplanned dog sex. Roger, the pet, had "the low-slung body of a Beagle, the pointy ears of a German Shepherd, the enthusiasm of a Labrador Retriever, the stubby tail of a Boxer, and the intelligence of celery." Eliot Arnold, who's son has the hots for Herk's step-daughter and wants to "kill" her, has been fired from his job as features writer at the newspaper after putting his left foot through his managing editor's computer monitor. He had been asked to contribute the ethnic viewpoint on the paper's most recent "megaturd" article; you know, the one's that always begin, "Crisis in . . ..." This article in question concerned day-care," pointed out the editor, "Everyone is interested in day-care." To which Eliot replied that everyone had an a..hole too, but one didn't often see articles entitled, “Crisis in Rectum." You get the idea.

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