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High jinks with a heart
on January 25, 2013
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. The Haitian subplot, when alternated with the airport high jinks, is a little disconcerting, but once the two collide, you wind up rooting for most of the characters. The book contains the occasional curse word, the use of illegal recreational substances, some graphic descriptions of X-rated movies, and the occasional passing of gas, both animal and human. You have been warned.