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A fun read without the manic pace of a Tim Dorsey novel...

  • Aug 7, 2010

As a fan of the South Florida novel genre (think Hiaasen and Dorsey), I couldn't pass on reading Dave Barry's Big Trouble.  I can't resist the chance to escape into the world of inept criminals and off-the-wall personalities that seem to make up a significant portion of that population.  :)  I'm a bit surprised that I somehow let this one get by my radar for so long (originally published over ten years ago), but oh well.

Big Trouble reminds me of a Tim Dorsey novel without all the characters being on speed.  In fact, most of the characters could, in a different setting, be semi-normal (funny, obnoxious, conceited, etc.)  Most of the craziness revolves around the action.  An innocent game of "Killer" (high school kids targeting others with squirt guns) intersects with an attempted hit by two real killers, an attempted "rescue" by a non-sober security guard, two homeless drifters who are attempting to become "kingpins", and a few arms dealers who have one device on hand that even they're scared of.  The plot lines move from a loose weave to a tight knit fabric as the action races to a conclusion.  Of course, being that all this takes place in Florida, it's pretty difficult to tell how it's all going to work out.

Overall, Big Trouble was a fun read.  Imagine yourself poolside or on the beach, with a nice beverage of choice next to you, and you've got the idea.  It's not a replacement for the insanity that is Tim Dorsey, but it's in the same ballpark.

Obtained From: Library
Payment: Borrowed

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review by . December 13, 2012
There's a man in the funny papers we all know, Big Dave, Big Bad Dave...Barry
This zany story takes place in the Coconut Grove section of Miami, Florida.      Two high school boys are playing a game called killer. The rules are to use their water gun and shoot a fellow student with a third student to confirm the 'kill.'      The target of this play 'kill' is Jenny Herk, the step-daughter of a man who is both a gambler and an embezzler. He picks the wrong people to attempt to steal from and a hit is place on him.   …
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Thomas Duff ()
Ranked #42
Thomas Duff, aka "Duffbert", is a long-time member of the Lotus community. He's primarily focused on the development side of the Notes/Domino environment, currently working for a large insurance … more
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About this book


A slapstick thriller set in Florida, featuring oddball characters. They include a homeless man who lives in a tree, a student with a squirt gun playing a game called Killer, a couple of real killers, and a terrorist with a nuclear bomb in a suitcase.
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ISBN-10: 0425239470
ISBN-13: 978-0425239476
Author: Dave Barry
Genre: Mystery, Humor
Publisher: Berkley Trade
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