I’ve often come across many of Dave Barry’s titles in the stacks and they all have these hilarious titles … and many of these are non-fiction. Yet I’ve been, inexplicably, hesitant in reading them. And then I came across Insane City and after having read the synopsis, I decided that I simply had to read it. Needless to say, it did not disappoint … and now the Dave Barry catalog is on my radar.
Seth Weinstein, who makes a living tweeting about products including douches (yes, that’ll be the feminine hygiene product … not wankers), is about to marry Tina Clark, a very accomplished and stunningly beautiful lawyer, that is … yes … way out of his league. I must add that unlike Seth, Tina is from a family that is stinking, filthy, and obscenely rich. The book opens with Seth and his friends, of questionable character, known as the Groom Posse preparing to travel to Florida, the site of the wedding. Five pages into the book the hilarious hi-jinks kick into gear when Seth is pranked at the airport and there is a hilarious exchange between him and TSA agents concerning a male sex aid (some kind of a hybrid flashlight/artificial vagina … don’t ask … I looked up … shook my head .. the things some folks do to get their jollies … I’ve parenthetically detoured). Trust me it is bloody hilarious and the really GOOD news is that this is the tip of the iceberg of Barry’s humour. Yes, it certainly gets better. After a stop at a bar in South Beach (the Clevelander … bloody hell, I really miss South Florida) and a bit too much drinks, everything takes a chaotic yet interesting turn. Actual more or less like a spiral rather than a mere turn. There are drug sniffing dogs, pirates, Russian gangsters, an angry large-sized stripper, an equally large-sized pimp named Wesley, an amourous orangutan, a randy so-called holy man, a Haitian refugee on the run with her two children, “special” brownies, a secret group of powerful businessmen known as the Group of Six (apparently much more powerful than the Group of Eleven) and yes, an eleven-foot python named Blossom. This is just the first day.
Insane City is a comical tour-de-force filled with a perfect blend of action, drama and intrigue … all slathered and marinated in gut-wrenching, bowel/bladder squashing humour. A few points of humour: an encounter in a supermarket with an old woman toting coupons as thick as phone book, and Big Steve (one of the Groom Posse) ordering breakfast for the group. Trust me. To the easily-amuseds be forewarned: if you travel on mass transit you might provoke unwanted stares in your direction as you find yourself giggling like a little girl … or blithering moron. A truly delightful and humourous read with a delightful ending that’ll warm the cockles of your heart and even though it’s my first Dave Barry book … I think I’ve become an unwitting fan of his writing. Damn you Dave Barry, and your fine, funny prose.
I miss you, Florida. Call me.