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23 of 25 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Madcap Romp In The Sea
A farcical madcap romp in which literature collides with Dave Barry--in the Atlantic Ocean--and both get soaked. Other reviewers have outlined the plot. Basically a lot of people with different agendas get caught up in a midnight cruise on the Extravaganza of the Seas. Which is a more-or-less legal offshore gambling ship, as well as a strictly illegal drug-running...
Published on November 3, 2002 by Louis N. Gruber

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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Enjoy It For What It Is
If you want to read a fun story that is an easy read and will make you laugh, pick up this book and enjoy yourself. If you are looking for serious literature with important insights on the human condition and the meaning of life, I suggest you look elsewhere.
This funny story set on a gambling boat sailing in a hurricane is quite witty and creative. Along the way...
Published on May 29, 2003 by John Standiford


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23 of 25 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Madcap Romp In The Sea, November 3, 2002
By 
This review is from: Tricky Business (Hardcover)
A farcical madcap romp in which literature collides with Dave Barry--in the Atlantic Ocean--and both get soaked. Other reviewers have outlined the plot. Basically a lot of people with different agendas get caught up in a midnight cruise on the Extravaganza of the Seas. Which is a more-or-less legal offshore gambling ship, as well as a strictly illegal drug-running ship.
While the characters are plotting and scheming, double-crossing each other, trying to have a little fun, or just trying to survive, the ship heads out into Hurricane Hector.
Barry tells the story with his usual comic flair, lots of bad words, his usual fascination with bodily fluids, a little adolescent sexuality, and a bottomless capacity to laugh at everything, including himself. Dave Barry is not a great novelist, knows it, doesn't take himself too seriously, and seemed to enjoy writing this book as much as I enjoyed reading it. I would have preferred a little less blood and gore, but hey! For what it was, it worked. If you're not too uptight, you will love it.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars long live dave barry, October 13, 2002
By A Customer
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This review is from: Tricky Business (Hardcover)
What does a giant pink conch, gas passing croupier, cocktail waitress/Coast Guard employee, horny cover band drummer and a gaggle of thugs have in common? Nothing, unless they're aboard a cruise ship in Dave Barry's "Tricky Business." Not quite as good as his first novel, "Big Trouble," but still pretty good, "Tricky," features Barry column staples: bodily function jokes, insights on the differences between the sexes - but those considering giving this book to young Barry fans, would do well to read the foreword, in which he states not one, but three times, that THIS BOOK CONTAINS SOME BAD WORDS. (Actually, more than a few.) Kudos for the warning, although those who are the most likely to get offended, probably won't read it.

Like "Big Trouble," "Tricky" has a plot hard to sum up in a few words, but involves sharply drawn "good" guys who eventually wind up in a contained space with the (far too many one syllable named) bad guys and mayhem results, along with an explanation of why women never seem to fart. Good read although I had to admit I missed Puggy, of the first book.
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Enjoy It For What It Is, May 29, 2003
By 
John Standiford (Cypress, California) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Tricky Business (Hardcover)
If you want to read a fun story that is an easy read and will make you laugh, pick up this book and enjoy yourself. If you are looking for serious literature with important insights on the human condition and the meaning of life, I suggest you look elsewhere.
This funny story set on a gambling boat sailing in a hurricane is quite witty and creative. Along the way Barry manages to skewer local news broadcasters, organized crime, backsliding professional musicians, senior citizens, and the primal urge to gamble.
The story itself which involves underworld drug dealing and profit skimming along with an action plot isn't all that important. It's merely there to give Barry an opportunity to make funny observations and create memorable characters.
The bottom line is that it's funny but I'm not sure I would recommend paying the full hardcover price for it. [...]
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars 'Business' proves Barry still has a few tricks up his sleeve, December 26, 2003
By 
This review is from: Tricky Business (Mass Market Paperback)
It was an unexpected but pleasant surprise a few years ago to find that Dave Barry, whose column is read, laughed at, and enjoyed the world over by hundreds upon thousands of people, could actually write stories. But in his debut novel, Big Trouble, he proved just that. His follow up, Tricky Business, trails in the wake of 'Trouble'...literally. The story, about a casino cruise ship and those who come to find themselves upon it on a fateful 'dark and stormy night', has many of the same trappings that made Barry's first foray into fiction so well received. Here we have interesting characters (among them, the dysfunctional members of a band called Johnny and the Contusions, a few fed-up cocktail waitresses, and an endearing pair of nursing home rebellers - Arnie and Phil), a plot that twists, turns, and eventually comes together in a way that will make you smack your head in amazement when you finally realize what's really going on.
The only real departure in this book is the violence that Barry inflicts on some of the characters we become attached to. While every character in Big Trouble survived to the end of the book, the body count in Tricky Business is fairly high, sometimes even used as a dark joke (as is the case with some unfortunate workers at the fictious Newspex Nine news station). It is at the same time appropriate to the story and disturbing. One almost expects Barry to resurrect his fallen characters at some point before the end - though he never does. This is, however, a small bone to pick with a book that is laugh-out-loud funny and just as entertaining as anything else Barry has come up with.
And, if you're a fan of Dave's style, that's saying a lot.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Not as funny as his other works, but still fast-paced & action-packed, July 17, 2005
This review is from: Tricky Business (Mass Market Paperback)
Tricky Business is Dave Barry's second novel. Like his first novel, Big Trouble, this work is set in south Florida, has elements of a crime novel, and is filled with the eccentric people that Barry creates so well. Unlike his books of nonfiction, both these novels contain what Mr. Barry calls "bad words." This is because his novels contain "unsavory characters" and they use bad words. Not all the characters are unsavory. Most are just eccentric, funny, or inept.

Although this novel is not as laugh out loud funny as Big Trouble, it attempts to compensate for this by having much more actual violence and sex. Speaking of sex, the song "Sex Pootie" by the Seminal Fluids, which played a prominent role in Big Trouble, makes a cameo appearance in Tricky Business. It must be a personal favorite of Mr. Barry.

The story is about one of the gambling ships that leave Miami every day to go out three miles into international waters for a couple of hours of entertainment and return. It is the only ship to go out with a hurricane approaching. It does this because it is owned by a gangster who uses it to pick up smuggled drugs from boats coming from the Bahamas and he can't miss a delivery. All the events in the novel take place the day of the storm.

If you like Dave Barry's humor, you will love his novels.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Foul, Offensive, Gross and fully hilarious, April 4, 2005
By 
therosen "therosen" (New York, NY United States) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: Tricky Business (Hardcover)
This is not your 13 year old's Dave Barry - this is an adult satire filled with dirty jokes, grotesque scenes and (gasp!) adult language. The story is about a going-nowhere band, a disgruntled shady executive, a couple cocktail waitresses, a couple retirees and the Miami mob in a mad-cap adventure off the shores of Florida.

There can be many criticisms levelled on the book (the sex, language and graphic violence to name three) that make it depart from the Dave Barry that we are used to. That keeps the reader off balance and wondering - is this a satire, a serious book, or just comedy? In the end, you're left laughing at both the direct story as well as the genre he parodies.

It's a light read, and if you don't finish it on a weekend afternoon, you really are too busy.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Dave, you disappoint me., November 8, 2002
This review is from: Tricky Business (Hardcover)
I was really disappointed in Dave with this book. He is my favorite writer, and this one doesn't meet his standard of intelligent humor. I was hoping for the best after his wonderful Big Trouble, but Tricky Business is not close. To give you a hint: the f-word is used on almost every page. To quote Mr. Barry, I am not making this up! The situations are hilarious in concept, but the writing of the situations is pretty bad. The swearing does not help the writing sound intelligent. I'll give him this though; several scenes did make me laugh out loud, and the whole subplot of the two escaped senior citizens is hilarious the whole way through. Overall, however, I recommend his books of columns first and Big Trouble second.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Sophomore slump?, February 12, 2003
By A Customer
This review is from: Tricky Business (Hardcover)
I enjoyed Big Trouble a lot, but this one didn't grab me as much. Well, I guess it still GRABBED me, as the plot kept motoring along and I wanted to know what would happen next... but I didn't enjoy it as much. And I think the main reason was the gratuitous violence. There really is too much of it, and it's too graphic. Stomach-churning, literally. The old farts from the nursing home are a riot, however. (And they're not involved in any of the violence!)
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant!, March 5, 2005
A Kid's Review
This review is from: Tricky Business (Mass Market Paperback)
I love this book. I really hope Dave Barry writes more fiction in the future. I've read most of what Dave Barry's written, fiction or non-fiction, but nothing I've read so far compares to this(does that make sense? I don't care, I love this book...). It appears that Dave Barry has matured in his writing, yet still he maintains his humor every chapter. I own this book. You probably should too. If you like morbid humor and boats, buy this book.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Filthy Language Ruins What Could Have Been a Great Read., November 23, 2002
By 
G. P. Roberts "robbie" (Pinson, AL United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Tricky Business (Hardcover)
From the start Mr. Barry warns the reader that this book contains foul language and that if one is offended by such language then don't read it. While I am no prude when it comes to obscene language I do believe that this book goes over the top. Rather than write a better description of the characters and their surroundings he just goes the easy route and throws in a huge dose of bad words. The best part of the book occurs when the old retired gentlemen are in the picture. The most amusing part is where the two make their escape from the retirement home to be able to board the Extravaganza of the Seas. I wish the book had focused on these two even more and less on the sexual prowess of the band. If you like a filthy read then this is the book for you, otherwise I'd say skip it.
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Tricky Business
Tricky Business by Dave Barry (Mass Market Paperback - October 7, 2003)
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