For those that have never heard of him, Dave Barry is a Pulitzer Prize winning author and columnist. I came to know of him through an old TV show I used to watch many years ago called Dave’s World. It was based on some of his books. I never really did get a chance to read any of his columns, because he wrote for the Miami Herald and I didn’t get that here! And also, back then the whole internet thing wasn’t as big as it currently is! Please don’t take that to mean that I’m older than dirt! I also never had a chance to read any of his books either. In fact, I had pretty much forgotten about Dave Barry until recently when I was looking at some books online and happened to stumble upon Big Trouble by Dave Barry. At first, I wasn’t sure if it was the same Dave Barry that kept me entertained half an hour every week for many many weeks all those years ago! A quick Google search revealed that, thankfully, it was!
Now that we’ve got the introduction to the author (if you can really call it that!) out of the way, let’s move on to the book. The book came across as quite a surprise. I didn’t know Barry also wrote fiction. I just assumed that everything he wrote would just be him complaining/making fun of life at home, vacations, South Florida and other things! I guess he just saves all that stuff for his non-fiction novels! 😀 The plot is almost something you’d expect out of a thriller. It involves enough people in a small enough setting to start a small village somewhere in India. Or a union in the US! There’s the adman Eliot Arnold, who’s struggling with his job, mainly because of having to deal with retarded clients. His son, Matt, is trying to kill a girl from school called Jenny Herk. Relax, it’s just a game they play in high school! Then there’s Jenny’s mother, Anna, who is frustrated with life, but mostly with her alcoholic douche of a husband, Arthur Herk. Said douche is Jenny’s step-father, and as it turns out, a real jerk! I wonder if it’s got anything to do with his name!
Add to this, Henry and Leonard, two hit men sent to kill Arthur for very stupidly embezzling funds from his employers who aren’t very nice people to begin with! Then there’s a homeless man (wonder if that’s more politically correct than bum or hobo!) called Puggy, who decides to crash in the treehouse in the Herks’ yard and Nina, the housemaid, who apart from all the housework, also has to fend off the advances of the lecherous Arthur, while slowly falling in love with Puggy! Oh, I’m not done yet! There’s more! Let’s not forget the Russian arms dealers who sell Arthur something a little more potent than the bomb he wanted; Snake and Eddie, the two dunderheaded criminals who want to be kingpins, and stupidly kidnap Arthur thinking that he is a criminal kingpin! Then there’s the two cops, Monica and Walter, who keep bumping into Eliot, Matt, Anna and Jenny on more than one occasion, causing them (well, mostly just Monica) to get more than a bit involved. Which probably helps when the aforementioned dunderheads also kidnap Jenny and the package that Arthur got from the Russian arms dealers. Add to all this the two FBI agents who are tracking the package that the Russian arms dealers have dumped on Arthur and you’ll be as confused as I am, if not more! And I read the book!
Seriously though, it’s one hilarious book! There’s so many twists and turns, and the way all these characters’ paths keep intersecting is not only amusing, but it also keeps you glued to the book, impatient to see what happens next! I could barely put it down! To clear the confusion created by the previous paragraph (Ummm… yeah sure, it was intentional!) I strongly recommend reading this book! Definitely, a 5/5 for me.
– Edrill DaSilva, Guest Blogger