“Insane City” (Putnam), by Dave Barry
Humorist Dave Barry has produced his first solo adult novel in over 10 years, and it’s hysterical. In a story reminiscent of “The Hangover” films, Seth is marrying a woman who is drop-dead gorgeous, and his buddies have the ultimate bachelor party planned.
The Groom Posse has wild ideas that involve strippers and alcohol while cavorting about the city of Miami. A misadventure inside a cab starts them on a different path that connects them with some Russians, a stripper demanding a gratuity and a giant bald man named Duane with a Burmese python named Blossom around his shoulders. The madness starts quickly and continues to escalate until the story’s surprising end.
A twist in the laugh-fest involves a look at the plight involving refugees from Haiti and Cuba and the real horror they experience trying to make it to the United States. The transition between the humor and Laurette, a Haitian with two children trying to make it to Miami, proves a bit jarring, but ultimately hopeful.
Barry obviously wrote “Insane City” as a means of delivering jokes, and sometimes the humor sacrifices the characters. But the novel is designed for laughs, and it’s quite funny. This is another winner from Barry, though the city of Miami might be upset, since it’s definitely not an endorsement for tourism.
By Elaine Donnelly
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