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Insane City Hardcover – January 29, 2013

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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Seth Weinstein, trudging along in an aimless career as a Twitter marketer, knows he is outmatched by his fiancée, Tina, who is rich, brilliant, and driven by serious causes. But amazingly, she has agreed to marry him. So they are off to Florida for their fabulous wedding, paid for by Tina’s rich and powerful father, who doesn’t quite approve of Seth. And Seth does not fail to disappoint as he and his Groom Posse become entangled with a stripper, her angry boyfriend, a desperate Haitian refugee and her children, and a cast of others in the hectic two days leading up to his wedding. When he should be preparing for the wedding, he’s off on rescue missions and avoiding police in a car chase. Can Seth pull himself together in his grand misadventure of wildly competing desires and obligations to do the right thing and still make it to the altar? Pulitzer Prize–winning humorist Barry’s latest offers a wild romp through south Florida. --Vanessa Bush


Praise for INSANE CITY
“Picture The Hangover with a splash of Miami Vice, and you get Dave Barry's Insane City. . . This is a quick, fun (and laugh-out-loud funny) read, and the action never slows.”—Fort Worth Star-Telegram
"[A] very funny new novel . . . [Barry's] sly observations, well-delineated characters, and intricate plotting mesh perfectly."—Publishers Weekly
Praise for Dave Barry

“Dave Barry remains one of the funniest writers alive.”—Carl Hiaasen

“While reading Dave Barry’s Big Trouble, I laughed so loud I fell out of a chair. Luckily, there’s a rug, so I didn’t hurt myself.” —Stephen King

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Putnam Adult; First Edition edition (January 29, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0399158685
  • ISBN-13: 978-0399158681
  • Product Dimensions: 6.3 x 1.2 x 9.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (550 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #494,120 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

The New York Times has pronounced Dave Barry "the funniest man in America." But of course that could have been on a slow news day when there wasn't much else fit to print. True, his bestselling collections of columns are legendary, but it is his wholly original books that reveal him as an American icon. Dave Barry Slept Here was his version of American history. Dave Barry Does Japan was a contribution to international peace and understanding from which Japan has not yet fully recovered. Dave Barry's Complete Guide to Guys is among the best-read volumes in rehab centers and prisons. Raised in a suburb of New York, educated in a suburb of Philadelphia, he lives now in a suburb of Miami. He is not, as he often puts it so poetically, making this up.

Customer Reviews

One can read the synopsis above and it will tell you pretty much all you need to know about the plot.
R. Murdock
Overall the plot has many interesting twists and turns, and keeps you captive throughout the whole book.
Igor Vaschuk
If, on the other hand, you want a fun fast read that have you laughing out loud, this is a great book.
A Mom of Boys

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

86 of 92 people found the following review helpful By E.B. Bristol VINE VOICE on January 25, 2013
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Underachieving nice guy Seth Weinstein is marrying Tina, a gorgeous high-powered lawyer in just a couple of days in a lavish wedding with all the trappings necessary to "storm the beachhead of holy matrimony." While her job is to make sure the whole affair is green; and make sure various assistants don't cross paths accidentally or various chemicals may be thrown, his job is to make sure his fly is zipped and show up at the altar on time; unfortunately, there wouldn't be much of a plot in Dave Barry's "Insane City" if he managed this without incident.

The plot wouldn't make much sense if I tried to describe it, but the novel has all the familar details you would expect from a Barry novel set in Miami: guys with guns, both licensed and otherwise; vehicles chases both on land and asea; exotic animals who have escaped their keepers with an agenda all their own; clueless newscasters; grumpy law officials who just want to retire early; and people of all ethnic and economic backgrounds bonding in wacky ways, some involving illegal substances. The cast includes Seth's best friends, the "Groom Posse," Tina's uptight billionaire parents and younger pothead sister; a horny New Age guru; Seth's velour-tracksuited parents who bring some delicious brownies to the rehearsal dinner (purely for medicinal reasons); an amorous orangutan named Trevor; a stripper with a heart of gold and her oversized pimp; plus a Haitian mother with two young kids who just want to make it to America safely. On the way to helping the Haitians, Seth will have to do some growing up and make some decisions for the first time, about what kind of adult he wants to be.

Some parts are decidedly more hilarious than others, but this is generally amusing read.
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51 of 53 people found the following review helpful By dictionaryfan on January 30, 2013
Format: Hardcover
My first impression is that this reads more like a movie instead of a book, given the way that the dialog is written and the scenes described. In fact, this would probably make a great summer movie for people who enjoy films such as Bridesmaids and The Hangover. There are so many wacky things taking place throughout the book and the plot moves constantly. Throughout the book Dave put his characters in some hilarious, not to mention embarrassing, situations.

While some of the general plot is predictable, most of the specific (and often bizarre) situations are not and the book is full of one liners that will make you laugh out loud. While this isn't great literature or a book with thought provoking insights, it continues to do what Dave Barry does best: makes you laugh.

This would be a great book to take to the beach or on vacation or anywhere you want to relax and have a good laugh.
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20 of 21 people found the following review helpful By J. Minatel VINE VOICE on January 26, 2013
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Insane City is what you get if you take "The Hangover" and try to clean it up for a mostly PG-13 audience. But, it's still a fast funny read and worth the time. While I didn't find it quite as funny as Barry's "The Lunatics" which could cause you to shoot something out your nose if not careful, Barry's still 5-star funny even when it's not original.
So the plot is your basic bachelor party screw-up. Seth is our groom, preparing to marry Tina, whose father Mike is a billionaire and surprise - Seth is poor and hated by Mike. Seth's insistence on "no strippers" for the bachelor party isn't heeded by his buddies and despite his best attempt to stay out of trouble, Seth ends up drunk at a South Beach "hot bod" contest, loses some valuable wedding accessories, helps protect a family of illegal immigrants, befriends a "hot bod" contestant, her snake-handling buddy, a frighteningly-large stripper and her even larger protective friend... And that's when things really get crazy. Mix in an orangutan, pirates, medicinal brownies, and you can just see how much fun Tina's dream-million-dollar wedding (and then some) is going to be.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Rushmore VINE VOICE on February 11, 2013
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
As a Dave Barry fan from way back, I was excited to read this novel. I was laughing almost from the very first page. Truthfully, it's difficult if not impossible to maintain that level of hilarity for 300+ pages. Happily there is a simple message contained in this story which goes a long way to redeem the seemingly endless parade of misadventures that Seth and his friends get themselves into.

At times Insane City reminded me of a Stephanie Plum story: both are reliant on a specific city and its denizens to create ambiance; both pile on the mishaps so that the reader eventually throws up his/her hands, suspends disbelief and just elects to go along for the ride (or puts the book down in disgust). Insane City is a wilder ride than a Stephanie Plum book. I tend to get anxious while reading stories or watching movies that consist of one calamity after another (Hangover, anyone? Bridesmaids?) even though I know it will all work out in the end. I was definitely relieved when Insane City was over, and also a little surprised that the book actually had a point.

Dave Barry has something to say about: having too much or not enough money; the nature of love; good guys and bad guys. It is all wrapped up in a crazy plot set in a crazy place, and it works. The ending is actually really satisfying. Dave Barry is more than a satire columnist. He is a novelist. He is a craftsman. It takes skill to juggle all those ridiculous plot points and to make the reader care about one or more of the characters. I am impressed. I was prepared to give this book 4 stars, but the more I think about it, the more I realize that Dave Barry has accomplished something pretty extraordinary. This is a 5-star effort.
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