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Tricky Business

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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 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 desperate for something to go right for once; Johnny and the Contusions, a ship's band with so little talent they are . . . well, the ship's band; Arnold and Phil, two refugees from the Beaux Arts Senior Center; Lou Tarant, a wide, bald man who has killed nine people, though none recently; and an assortment of uglies whose job it is to facilitate the ship's true business, which is money-laundering or drug-smuggling or . . . something.


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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 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 desperate for something to go right for once; Johnny and the Contusions, a ship's band with so little talent they are . . . well, the ship's band; Arnold and Phil, two refugees from the Beaux Arts Senior Center; Lou Tarant, a wide, bald man who has killed nine people, though none recently; and an assortment of uglies whose job it is to facilitate the ship's true business, which is money-laundering or drug-smuggling or . . . something.

30 review for Tricky Business

  1. 5 out of 5

    Thomas

    I have been a fan of Dave Barry since I first read his humorous columns. This is the first book that I have read by him. It is about a gambling cruise boat that picks up people in Florida and takes them beyond the 3 mile coastal limit where gambling is legal. But there is more than gambling going on, including drugs and money laundering. The people in this book are just what you would expect from Dave Barry-- misfits, criminals and some downright wacky. There are some laugh out lines in this I have been a fan of Dave Barry since I first read his humorous columns. This is the first book that I have read by him. It is about a gambling cruise boat that picks up people in Florida and takes them beyond the 3 mile coastal limit where gambling is legal. But there is more than gambling going on, including drugs and money laundering. The people in this book are just what you would expect from Dave Barry-- misfits, criminals and some downright wacky. There are some laugh out lines in this book. Be prepared for belly laughs. I read it in 2 days. I borrowed this book from a friend.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Martin

    It was a dark and stormy night! (Not a cliche - it really was). Take a cruise ship, Turn it into a floating casino, Sail it into international water where gambling is legal, Pilot it with a barely qualified captain, Use the gambling for money laundering and/or drug smuggling, Have a non talented band for entertainment, Employ a chef who recycles the buffet continuously, Take two senior citizens from the Old Farts Senile Dying Center, Add gangsters that don't like other gangsters, A solo mother who is a It was a dark and stormy night! (Not a cliche - it really was). Take a cruise ship, Turn it into a floating casino, Sail it into international water where gambling is legal, Pilot it with a barely qualified captain, Use the gambling for money laundering and/or drug smuggling, Have a non talented band for entertainment, Employ a chef who recycles the buffet continuously, Take two senior citizens from the Old Farts Senile Dying Center, Add gangsters that don't like other gangsters, A solo mother who is a cocktail waitress and undercover coast guard, All reported by the NewsPlex Nine TV channel, Throw in Tropical Storm Hector! And there you have another crazy Dave Barry story. Enjoy!

  3. 4 out of 5

    pinknantucket

    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 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 paths intertwine on board a small cruise ship that sails offshore every night so that everyone can gamble relatively legally. The ship is also being used to deliver drugs. This particular night there is a big storm, and some bad guys have a plan and quite a lot of guns. There is also a band, a barmaid and two retirees thrown into the mix. Barry also pokes some well-deserved fun at the inanity of news coverage, where, desperate to drum up a story about the storm, news reporters keep racing to the scene of apparent tragedies only to get killed themselves – thus, they create their own news. If you could only read one more book before you died, this wouldn’t be it. (My personal choice would be Ulysses, because I know it would take me a really, really long time to finish). More the kind of book you’d read on a plane flight, except that you’d probably be more entertained by Carl Hiaasen.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Tim

    Some laugh out loud humor with a decent plot and ending. 8 of 10 stars

  5. 4 out of 5

    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 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 and stereotypes galore—all doing amazingly inept things. There is a running gag involving news reporters and a hurricane. It is actually laugh out loud funny. I rarely laugh out loud, period—so that is saying a lot. I am one of those cerebral kind of guys who can sit in a movie and internalize everything that is supposed to be funny without ever laughing. This book pulled it out of me. The murder plot was so convoluted, I didn’t care who did what to whom. Everyone was so busy getting everything wrong and doing it in a spectacular way, I thought I was reading my autobiography (except for the senior citizens on a casino boat stuff). This is wit and satire at its best. Dave may have justly won the Pulitzer for his endless columns but the novel cranks him up to manic speed in a way he can’t let fly in his short prose. Atta boy Dave. It’s lunacy at its finest, and a damn good time. Although, when I reach social security age I will not allow myself on a casino boat.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Marjorie Schultz

    Lots of suspension of disbelief. Also a few laugh out loud places.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Jesseca Timmons

    This book is hilarious.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Olga

    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 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 for the folks in the retirement home). So why only 3 stars? I so did not expect scenes of horrible violence, graphic and drawn out. The person who had to swallow his own blood to avoid suffocation! Uggh! TMI! Too many gory details! Now, I do not mind a few fart jokes, or a bunch of corpses, all cleanly and quickly shot by guns. But detailed torture - no, thank you! So take your pick: humor or violence.

  9. 4 out of 5

    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 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. The premise has elements of the zaniness that made Big Trouble entertaining, but seems more forced than the first book. Also, Barry dips a little deeper into writing what I would term "adult themes and language," in this book. I am someone who enjoys his brand of (often adolescent) humor, but felt these elements were unnecessary to the story and detracted from my reading experience. Despite the negative review, though, I do look forward to reading his next attempt.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Cissa

    I was very disappointed by this, after reading 2 Dave Barry novels that were clever, intriguing, and full of fun. In this one, Barry seems to substitute violence, including fairly graphic scenes of torture, for humor. I do not find this a winning strategy. The excessive violence- Ok, mostly toward the Bad Guys- and especially the torture really turned me off. I was not expecting grimdark here. The plot is OK. The senior citizens who save the day are great. The use of farting as a plot device was... I was very disappointed by this, after reading 2 Dave Barry novels that were clever, intriguing, and full of fun. In this one, Barry seems to substitute violence, including fairly graphic scenes of torture, for humor. I do not find this a winning strategy. The excessive violence- Ok, mostly toward the Bad Guys- and especially the torture really turned me off. I was not expecting grimdark here. The plot is OK. The senior citizens who save the day are great. The use of farting as a plot device was... interesting. All endedd well except for the Bad Guys, who met gruesome fates. Parts of the plot were silly, and without the violence might have made a much more fun novel. I really do not recommend this one. Barry has written some fabulous southern Florida funny crime novels- read them instead.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Terry

    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.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Deb

    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!

  13. 4 out of 5

    John Box

    As a hurricane approaches the Florida coast, a casino ship known as the Extravaganza of the Seas heads out to international waters for a turbulent night of drug trafficking, betrayal, and murder. Among many on board are Wally, a 29-year-old cover band guitarist who lives with his mother after being cheated on by his fiancée; Fay, a cocktail waitress whose mother has to help take care of her 2-year-old daughter because her ex-husband is a deadbeat dad; and Manny Arquero, a muscular enforcer for As a hurricane approaches the Florida coast, a casino ship known as the Extravaganza of the Seas heads out to international waters for a turbulent night of drug trafficking, betrayal, and murder. Among many on board are Wally, a 29-year-old cover band guitarist who lives with his mother after being cheated on by his fiancée; Fay, a cocktail waitress whose mother has to help take care of her 2-year-old daughter because her ex-husband is a deadbeat dad; and Manny Arquero, a muscular enforcer for the mob boss pulling all the strings. There is a vast cast of characters and while they are all relatively cliché, humorist Dave Barry does an excellent job setting up each individual’s background story and making us feel sympathetic to the underdogs and malevolent toward the villains. We get a good sense of who each character is, what the protagonists want, and what the antagonists are up to. There are some chuckles to be had thanks mainly to the cover band and to a pair of retirement home escapees. Having said that, the old-folks-are-slow-and-sleepy jokes grow weary as the story unfolds. The biggest surprise when reading this was that whitebread incarnate Dave Barry described the drummer of the band going down on a beautiful woman and being farted on mid act. I was absolutely shocked. It didn’t make me laugh, but my jaw dropped to the floor. Squeaky clean Dave Barry had published something more foul than I had ever even imagined. Frankly, it made me feel like less of a man. But it still didn’t make me laugh and for some reason, Barry ran with it. A beauty who ceaselessly drops silent-but-deadly farts apparently without even realizing it. Over and over and over. Just dumb. Stephen King, on the other hand, was quoted at the beginning of the book saying, “I laughed so hard I fell out of a chair.” I have a sneaking suspicion, however, that he read Tricky Business during his drug addiction days and his amusement and coordination difficulties had more to do with the cocaine and methamphetamines than the silent-but-deadly assassin. Having said that, I enjoyed Barry’s overall style of writing. Fast-paced, snarky, and full of vivid descriptions that were sometimes humorous and sometimes horrifying. To sum up, while this book is not hysterical, there are some laughs to be had and it makes for a pleasing read with a nice cockle-warming wrap up at the end. 3.5 stars rounded up to 4. Bonus quote (in this case, from Barry’s Acknowledgements): I thank my two wonderful children, Rob and Sophie, although I forbid Sophie from reading this book, assuming that she learns to read. For more reviews, check out The Comedic Novel Review at www.pearlsbeforeswine68.com/thecomedi... which is also home to the Great White Host Blog.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Gregg Sapp

    Sometimes you can guess a writer’s preferred genre just by glancing at a photo. Not always, of course, but by and large it’s true. Horror writers look kind of spooky. Romance novelists look opulent. Science fiction writers wear glasses, or squint if they don’t. And humor writers look mischievous. Case in point, Dave Barry. In the head shot on the back cover of “Tricky Business,” his eyes fairly twinkle under a mop top haircut, his mouth is open with a “who me?” smile, reminiscent of a grown-up Sometimes you can guess a writer’s preferred genre just by glancing at a photo. Not always, of course, but by and large it’s true. Horror writers look kind of spooky. Romance novelists look opulent. Science fiction writers wear glasses, or squint if they don’t. And humor writers look mischievous. Case in point, Dave Barry. In the head shot on the back cover of “Tricky Business,” his eyes fairly twinkle under a mop top haircut, his mouth is open with a “who me?” smile, reminiscent of a grown-up Dennis the Menace. Or, a character in a Dave Barry novel. “Tricky Business,” indeed. Barry’s second novel takes an absurd but almost feasible situation, populates the scenario with a collection of oddball yet believable characters, and the humor just happens. The Extravaganza of the Sea is a gambling vessel that routinely takes high and low rollers three miles off the Florida coast, so they can legally wager themselves into a dither. On a stormy night, when every other boat is safely moored near shore, the Extravaganza nevertheless embarks. Among its passengers are Wally, the n’er do well guitarist for the house band, Fay, a single mother working as a cocktail waitress, Phil and Arnie, geriatric escapees from the “Old Farts Senile Dying Center, "and miscellaneous losers, dullards, and – gasp – criminals. On this ill fated night, the desperate captain of the Extravaganza is set to rendezvous in international waters with a boat piloted by drug runners from the Bahamas. Bad guys can’t be trusted, though, and one of them hatches a plot to intercept the drugs, keep the money for himself, and kill all the witnesses. So, maybe these aren’t the most nuanced of characters. They do, however, provide excellent foils for Barry’s nuttiness. And in their own shallow way, they are endearing. I would estimate the joke-per-page ratio to be somewhere around 7.3 to one. That’s an impressive humor density. Barry’s style is mostly literary slapstick, where every situation is contrived for laughs. As such, it is engaging and enjoyable, but comes off as less cerebral than David Sedaris and lacks the social commentary of Augusten Burroughs. For nonstop shits and giggles, though, Barry leads the pack. And I’m not making this up.

  15. 5 out of 5

    E M

    I LOVED Dave Barry's Big Trouble (puerile, yes; hilarious, YES!) so naturally I was eager to read his Tricky Business. It was more coherently plotted, but I don't go to Dave Barry for plot. There was less by way of non-stop humor, but more by way of non-stop obscenity (I know, I know - Barry warned me in the in his "Acknowledgements and Warning"). Plus some gratuitous salaciousness and a truly unpleasant instance of sadistic violence. On the other hand, there were parts which were really, really I LOVED Dave Barry's Big Trouble (puerile, yes; hilarious, YES!) so naturally I was eager to read his Tricky Business. It was more coherently plotted, but I don't go to Dave Barry for plot. There was less by way of non-stop humor, but more by way of non-stop obscenity (I know, I know - Barry warned me in the in his "Acknowledgements and Warning"). Plus some gratuitous salaciousness and a truly unpleasant instance of sadistic violence. On the other hand, there were parts which were really, really funny (I especially liked the two Roses and "My Funny Valentine"). So if you don't mind bad words (see aforementioned "Acknowledgements ..."), Tricky Business is probably your book ... IF you know something about seafaring (sailing? boating? watery transportation?) lingo. If, like me, you're not intimate with the differences between ship, boat, dinghy, Zodiac, inflatable and Cigarette; if you don't know a transom from a platform and aren't real clear on what (where?) the stern is, you're going to be in for trouble. I was near the book's end when I realized that I hadn't been keeping track of the various vessels a clear understanding of which was absolutely essential to the slightest grasp of what was going on, and had to start over near the beginning (I am not exaggerating). Even then I had to practically make a written diagram to decipher the second paragraph on page 283. Oh well, I really enjoyed the funny parts.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Brentin

    So I've read a bit of Dave Barry's nonfiction work, but not a whole lot. However, this book was kind of a let down. The plot centers around a casino boat that's a front for a drug operation, and how a routine deal is complicated by, among other things, a tropical storm. The cast of characters include the various criminals involved, a pair of retired men, a cocktail waitress, and the ship's band. Nothing about the characters or the criminals are particularly original or clever, and the same can So I've read a bit of Dave Barry's nonfiction work, but not a whole lot. However, this book was kind of a let down. The plot centers around a casino boat that's a front for a drug operation, and how a routine deal is complicated by, among other things, a tropical storm. The cast of characters include the various criminals involved, a pair of retired men, a cocktail waitress, and the ship's band. Nothing about the characters or the criminals are particularly original or clever, and the same can be said of the plot. Of course, the book is meant to be a skewer of crime novels, but it ends up more like a bad parody. The humor relies on fart, puke and boob jokes, as well as little in-jokes people who aren't Floridians would get. There's also a running gag with a local news station that gets old pretty quick. I kind of wondered if Barry wrote the book hoping for a movie option, since it plays out more like a "Hangover" type of low-brow comedy, particularly towards the end, where points of view switch almost every 3 sentences, and is told from just about everyone on board, instead of being limited to the main cast. There is one plot twist I didn't see coming, and it's revealed pretty well, but then it goes back to silliness. The book isn't terrible, but definitely not one to be cherished and re-read.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Emily

    I read this after seeing it pop up on a "you might like" list and recognizing Barry from the "Peter and the Starcatchers" series. Now, reviewing the reviews more thoroughly, looks like I should've picked a different Barry novel to start with. This did make me laugh out loud at times, and it was a quick read, and fine. However it wasn't brilliant and witty like Peter & the Starcatchers, and I felt like it was written primarily for guys who'd like to fantasize about being crime bosses but also I read this after seeing it pop up on a "you might like" list and recognizing Barry from the "Peter and the Starcatchers" series. Now, reviewing the reviews more thoroughly, looks like I should've picked a different Barry novel to start with. This did make me laugh out loud at times, and it was a quick read, and fine. However it wasn't brilliant and witty like Peter & the Starcatchers, and I felt like it was written primarily for guys who'd like to fantasize about being crime bosses but also relate to the underdog (although there's a badass woman heroine snuck in). I didn't mind the violence or language, Barry was really (and cleverly) clear about that at the beginning of the book and besides, it's kind of part of the show in this particular novel. Anyway, if you need a good beach book and you like crime novels, ensemble books, or bumbling and slightly unlikeable underdogs check it out. If you're ready to curl up and be lost in a meaningful story, skip it.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Mike

    For comparison think of The Sopranos but on paper or in audio. Hyper-violent, cruel gangsters, drug-runners, and syndicated career criminals and their acts described in vivid, psychopathic detail. The audio narrator’s quite good and versatile. This is a clever, well-written, very windy, long, drawn-out, slow-motion train wreck of a story which Barry takes care to set up at length. My first and perhaps last Barry book. Yes, Barry's a hugely better writer in his genre than I'd ever aspire to be. For comparison think of The Sopranos but on paper or in audio. Hyper-violent, cruel gangsters, drug-runners, and syndicated career criminals and their acts described in vivid, psychopathic detail. The audio narrator’s quite good and versatile. This is a clever, well-written, very windy, long, drawn-out, slow-motion train wreck of a story which Barry takes care to set up at length. My first and perhaps last Barry book. Yes, Barry's a hugely better writer in his genre than I'd ever aspire to be. Get this book if you'd enjoy feeling superior to commonplace criminals whose lives you’ll pity. Or others you'd feel like you'd want back out of the room from, while watching them closely if you were to meet them real life. These sorts of vibes aren't my favorites. I’ll prefer my audio jollies from other authors.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Linda Mitchell

    This book was just, meh. I stuck with it and at around the page 200 mark, it got somewhat interesting. The first 200 pages were a lot of fluff and side conversations between the characters that I could have done without. It was quite gritty with the language and some of the details. It did have humor, which I appreciated, but after a while it got old and I found myself just skimming over the side conversations because they weren't adding anything to character development. The characters were This book was just, meh. I stuck with it and at around the page 200 mark, it got somewhat interesting. The first 200 pages were a lot of fluff and side conversations between the characters that I could have done without. It was quite gritty with the language and some of the details. It did have humor, which I appreciated, but after a while it got old and I found myself just skimming over the side conversations because they weren't adding anything to character development. The characters were quite flat, honestly. All in all, it wasn't something I would recommend. This is the first book I have read by Dave Berry. I will try a few more, because it appears I am not in the minority with my review and others have enjoyed some of his other writings more.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Pat

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. I may be in the minority here, but I did not really like the book. I have always been a huge fan of Dave Barry. I have read some of his other books and thoroughly enjoyed them. I purchase his page-a-day calendar every year. I think I was suspecting something somewhat different when I read the jacket cover of this book. I did not like the torture descriptions. Those were difficult to read. I didn't rate the book 1 star because there were some redeeming aspects to the story. I enjoyed the banter I may be in the minority here, but I did not really like the book. I have always been a huge fan of Dave Barry. I have read some of his other books and thoroughly enjoyed them. I purchase his page-a-day calendar every year. I think I was suspecting something somewhat different when I read the jacket cover of this book. I did not like the torture descriptions. Those were difficult to read. I didn't rate the book 1 star because there were some redeeming aspects to the story. I enjoyed the banter between the two elderly men. Some of the band's dialog was humorous. The ending was the best part. Most of the good guys triumphed. Most of the bad guys got what they deserved. However, overall, I did not enjoy this book. I was quite disappointed....

  21. 4 out of 5

    Nathan Mayer

    I first read this back when it came out and I enjoyed it and, about a year later, I found a copy for sale at a Goodwill. So it has sat on my shelf ever since. I'm doing this big 2019 "read it and get rid of it" type of year long spring cleaning (I'm also doing the same with most of my movies: watch it and get rid of it) and it was this ones turn on the chopping block. It's a pretty good book. A bit crazy, it's occasionally difficult to follow because there are so many characters you have to pause I first read this back when it came out and I enjoyed it and, about a year later, I found a copy for sale at a Goodwill. So it has sat on my shelf ever since. I'm doing this big 2019 "read it and get rid of it" type of year long spring cleaning (I'm also doing the same with most of my movies: watch it and get rid of it) and it was this ones turn on the chopping block. It's a pretty good book. A bit crazy, it's occasionally difficult to follow because there are so many characters you have to pause sometimes and say "Wait, which person is this? Oh, right." A bit depraved at times, oddly overly violent and graphic in others and funny all throughout. Can't really go wrong with that combo.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Deb

    Another book on tape listened to in the car. This one had me laughing with the author's first lines about it having "bad language" and the laughing continued throughout the remaining pages. Bad guys, bad plans for money laundering and drug running with a casino cruise boat, bad consequences for some of the people, a bad buffet and big bad storm come together for for an interesting evening for the old men who escaped from the retirement home, band members, cocktail servers, and the boat's crew. Another book on tape listened to in the car. This one had me laughing with the author's first lines about it having "bad language" and the laughing continued throughout the remaining pages. Bad guys, bad plans for money laundering and drug running with a casino cruise boat, bad consequences for some of the people, a bad buffet and big bad storm come together for for an interesting evening for the old men who escaped from the retirement home, band members, cocktail servers, and the boat's crew. It was a good book for in the car!

  23. 4 out of 5

    Roshnara Mohamed

    I've read Dave Barry's columns before, so I knew the tone I would be getting. Somehow, he even makes fiction funny, with his motley crew of characters, and the over-the-top plot that is simultaneously ridiculous and completely believable. This is a fun one-time read, and you barely notice how fast you're plodding through it till its over. Pick it up for a long flight, or a lazy day in, when you want to give your brain some rest.

  24. 4 out of 5

    David Allen

    In this breezy crime caper with a dozen-plus characters, things work out pretty much as you'd hope (good things happen to good people, bad things to bad people), but the fun is in getting there. As a Dave Barry fan, it's interesting to see how he adapts his writing style to fiction. There's gunplay, and romance, and an amateur rock band, and also literature's best mass puking scene. That said, by next month I expect to have forgotten the whole thing.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Me

    Although I love reading Dave Barry's columns, his novels seem to lose their freshness in terms of humor. In this book, he seems to use violence when he can no longer think of anything funny. Some of the charcters are lovable, such as the two senior citizens that escape the nursing home to gamble aboard the ship. However, there are so many bad guys killing other bad guys, that it's impossible to keep track of that part of the plot.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Haoyan Do

    It turns out it doesn't have as many foul language as I expected. I like those parts when the author talks about air bags and the difficulties in the life of workers of the casino ship. The stories of the captain and the stories of Fay are very interesting. I don't like the part with violence where a lot of people are hurt. Still it is an enjoyable listening. I wish that those parts that I like occupy more space.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Linda Doyle

    A down-on-his-luck musician, a farty, buxom blonde, two stereotypical geezers, and a beautiful undercover agent, are some of the cast of characters in this humorous and too-crazy-to-believe novel that is set, for the most part, on a casino ship off the coast of Florida during a tropical storm. A friend gave me the paperback, recommending it as a fun read. It was indeed light entertainment to go along with the holiday spent with family, Christmas cookies, and more Christmas cookies. Yum.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Will Daggett

    There really isn't much to say about this book. It's brief and entertaining, and that's about it. I gave it three stars and wouldn't probably recommend it to many people, but only because it's a generally typical Dave Barry book that wasn't as good as some of his other books. I would definitely recommend Big Trouble or Insane City before this one.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Mary

    The trick to enjoying this decidedly different book by Dave Barry is not to take it too seriously. It's got the kind of goofy stuff you expect from Barry alongside some rather dark moments, and that could be a bit jarring if you're used to the gentle humor of his columns. Altogether, it's a pretty entertaining crime romp.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Gerard Lionel

    First time i read this writer, i think it very entertaining, lot of humor, plot about bad guys is classic, characters are human and stereotypical... I would say "fast and furious" style, on overdrive, maybe written under influence of exotic poducts? Would definitely read others but just for relax read...

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