Cover image for Tricky business
Title:
Tricky business
Author:
Barry, Dave.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York : Putnam's, [2002]

©2002
Physical Description:
xi, 320 pages ; 24 cm
Summary:
A tropical storm hits a casino boat off the coast of Florida changing the lives of a quirky set of passengers.
Language:
English
Geographic Term:
ISBN:
9780399149245
Format :
Book

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Summary

Summary

The Extravaganza of the Seasis a five-thousand-ton cash cow, a top-heavy tub whose sole function is to carry gamblers three miles from the Florida coast, take their money, then bring them back so they can find more money. In the middle of a tropical storm one night, these characters are among the passengers it carries: Fay Benton, a single mom and cocktail waitress desperate for something to go right for once; Johnny and the Contusions, a ship's band with so little talent they are . . . well, the ship's band; Arnold and Phil, two refugees from the Beaux Arts Senior Center; Lou Tarant, a wide, bald man who has killed nine people, though none recently; and an assortment of uglies whose job it is to facilitate the ship's true business, which is money-laundering or drug-smuggling or . . . something. What happens to them all in the midst of the fiercest storm in years, the unpredictable ways in which this trip will change their lives and send them ricocheting off each other like a giant game of pinball, is the story of this astonishing, wickedly satisfying, all-too-human novel by "one of the funniest writers alive" (Carl Hiaasen).


Author Notes

Dave Barry was born in Armonk, New York on July 3, 1947. He received an English degree from Haverford College in 1969. His early attempts at small-town journalism for the Daily Local News in West Chester, Pennsylvania, were directed towards local matters, such as zoning and sewage. In 1975, he briefly attempted to teach business writing to business people. Since then, he has worked as a professional humorist.

For many years he wrote a newspaper column that appeared in more than 500 newspapers and for which he won the Pulitzer Prize for commentary. He is the author of numerous fiction, nonfiction, and young adult books. His novels include Big Trouble, Tricky Business, Lunatics, and Insane City. His nonfiction works include Dave Barry's Complete Guide to Guys, Dave Barry Slept Here: A Sort of History of the United States, I'll Mature When I'm Dead, You Can Date Boys When You're Forty: Dave Barry on Parenting and Other Topics He Knows Very Little About, and Live Right and Find Happiness (Although Beer Is Much Faster): Life Lessons and Other Ravings from Dave Barry. His young adult books include the Starcatchers series and the Never Land series.

Dave Barry's title, Best. State. Ever, made the New York Times bestseller list in 2016.

(Bowker Author Biography) Dave Barry is a Pulitzer Prize-winning syndicated columnist. His recent novel, "Big Trouble," spent several months on the "New York Times" best-seller list, & his most recent nonfiction book, "Dave Barry Turns 50," was also a national best-seller. Dave lives in Miami, Florida.

(Publisher Provided)


Reviews 3

Booklist Review

Barry delivers plenty of laughs and action in his second foray into fiction, following Big Trouble (1999). Extravaganza of the Seas is a gambling boat owned by one of the biggest swindlers in all of Florida, Bobby Kemp. However, Kemp himself is being swindled by some local but powerful thugs. Lou Tarant and his boys are running a smuggling business on the Extravaganza, and Kemp is mad that he doesn't get a kickback. On the night of a furious tropical storm, Kemp gets some thugs of his own and decides to take action. Of course, Barry treats us to amusing depictions of some of the other characters on the ship: Fay, an overworked waitress; Wally, a member of the ship's band; and Arnie and Phil, on the lam from their senior center after a hilarious escape. When Kemp's plan goes disastrously awry, this colorful cast of characters is thrust into the middle of a fight between the double-crossing thugs. Barry garners plenty of laughs, especially in the scenes involving the senior center and its residents, as well as those involving a hapless, weather-obsessed news station. Fans of outlandish comic fiction, as well as Barry's columns, will find much to enjoy here. --Kristine Huntley


Publisher's Weekly Review

Humorist Barry (Big Trouble) brings together a motley group of South Florida eccentrics on an ill-fated casino boat voyage in his second full-length comic mystery novel. A tropical storm is bearing down on the Florida coast, but the Extravaganza of the Seas, a luxury gambling ship, sets sail on its nightly excursion in spite of the weather. Aboard are Fay Benton, an attractive cocktail waitress trying to make ends meet for her kid; a collection of pot-smoking would-be rockers (at least one of whom lives with his mother) who make up the ship's band, Johnny and the Contusions; a pair of wise-cracking octogenarians who've escaped an extended-care facility; and some Mafia-connected gangsters who use the ship's nightly voyages to smuggle drugs onto the mainland. Bobby Kemp, the ship's titular owner, insists that the Extravaganza go out in the storm because he's chosen this night to hijack the drug deal. In the background, a local television station plays a role straight from Keystone Kops as its reporters frantically cover the approaching storm with consistently fatal results. Barry once again showcases his gently satiric style, with barbs aimed at overbearing mothers, corrupt officials, inept authorities and, of course, the American crime novel itself, which he sends up with absurd plotting, astronomical body count and plenty of gratuitous nudity and (PG-rated) sex. Belying self-deprecating disclaimers about his talent for fiction, Barry demonstrates that he can draw some captivating characters and keep a reader's attention in spite of-or perhaps because of-slapstick antics and a fascination with scatology. (Oct. 1) Forecast: Barry's name could sell a VCR manual, but he's taken the time to write a winner, anyway. Expect this to match or surpass the performance of Big Trouble. Author tour. (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved


Library Journal Review

Barry's (Big Trouble) latest novel is a farce centered on a Miami-based casino cruise ship, whose underworld owners order the captain to sea despite a tropical storm descending on South Florida. However, the voyage is not for the benefit of the oddball collection of gamblers, bartenders, barmaids, and the ship's band; the trip is an appointment with a double-crossing sea captain for a drug-related transaction. Barry presents a fascinating cast of strange characters, including the pot-smoking band and two gamblers who escaped from a Miami senior citizens center. Narrator Dick Hill's wonderful reading adds to the pleasure. Just plain fun; recommended for all audio collections.-Stephen L. Hupp, West Virginia Univ. Parkersburg Lib. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


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