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Review: Insane City

February 28, 2013

Insane City

I generally write my own synopsis when I review a book, but the plot of Insane City, by Dave Barry, is so bizarre I don’t think I can do it justice, so I’m going to rely on the publisher this time.

Seth Weinstein knew Tina was way out of his league in pretty much any way you could imagine, which is why it continued to astonish him that he was on the plane now for their destination wedding in Florida.  The Groom Posse had already sprung an airport prank on him, and he’d survived it, and if that was the worst of it, everything should be okay.  Smooth sailing from now on.

Seth has absolutely no idea what he’s about to get into.  In the next several hours, he and his friends will become embroiled with drug dogs, pirates, Russian gangsters, angry strippers, a pimp as big as the Death Star, a very desperate Haitian refugee on the run with her two children, a fanatically secret group of powerful businessmen known only as the Group of Six (much more powerful than the Group of Eleven), and an eleven-foot Burmese albino python named Blossom.  And there’re still two days to go before the wedding.

As it turns out, it’s not smooth sailing, it’s more like a trip on the Titanic.  By the end, amid gunfire, high-speed chases, and mayhem of the most unimaginable sort, violent men will fall, heroes will rise, and many lives will change.

Seth’s not least of all.

Dave Barry has written many hilarious books before, but he’s never written anything like Insane City.  Just ask that Mark Twain guy.

I’ve enjoyed Dave Barry’s writing in the past so I was rather excited to receive his latest book.  I’m sorry to say the book didn’t live up to my hopes.  As it progressed, the story became more and more outrageous to the point that it just felt silly to me.  It almost seemed like it was written with the intention of becoming a movie along the lines of The Hangover and, after a while, I just got tired of it.

I listened to the audio version of Insane City.  It’s narrated by the author which, if you ask me, wasn’t the best decision.  His reading was monotonous and dull so I found my mind wandering as I listened.  This book is full of language, drugs, and adult situations, so it’s not an audio for the whole family.

Most people have enjoyed this book more than I did – I suspect I would have liked it more if I’d read the print version, or maybe I’m just too old for it.

Review copy provided by Penguin Books.  I am an Indiebound Affiliate.
28 Comments leave one →
  1. February 28, 2013 6:57 am

    Kathy, I read your thoughts on this one and although I have not read it, I’ve had similar feelings about certain books lately …”maybe I’m too old to appreciate it”…LOL

  2. February 28, 2013 7:00 am

    The last time I read anything by Dave Barry (not fiction) I felt the same way. He’s older than I am, so who’s too old?

  3. February 28, 2013 7:44 am

    I find ‘funny’ does not always translate to the written page for me. And since you did not like the audio I may just move along….

  4. February 28, 2013 8:22 am

    When I’ve had expectations of an author and found it to be lacking, more often than not I find out that it was co-authored and the well known author had very little to do with the story. Sorry it was disappointing.

  5. February 28, 2013 8:34 am

    I have not read this author but I imagine that the “Hangover” style read would be a bit bothersome to me as well. 🙂

  6. February 28, 2013 9:55 am

    I know exactly what you mean. I’ve been hesitant to listen to this one partly from the publisher’s description and partly because I ended up DNF on his last book. I don’t think you are too old, I think his writing style has changed from humorous to the absurd.

  7. February 28, 2013 9:56 am

    Oh man, sorry this one didn’t work for you. Dave Barry and I do not get along.

  8. talesofwhimsy permalink
    February 28, 2013 10:10 am

    I bet I would dig this. I like insane and over the top.

  9. February 28, 2013 10:13 am

    Oh how disappointing! I usually love Dave Barry!

  10. February 28, 2013 10:32 am

    Dave Barry is a mixed bag for me, so I’ll probably skip this one. Sorry it was a disappointment for you.

  11. February 28, 2013 11:40 am

    Thanks for sharing your honest opinion of this audiobook, Kathy. 🙂

  12. February 28, 2013 12:33 pm

    It’s too bad that Barry wasn’t able to pull the plot off .

  13. February 28, 2013 12:58 pm

    “drug dogs, pirates, Russian gangsters, angry strippers, a pimp as big as the Death Star, a very desperate Haitian refugee on the run with her two children”<-wow! Too bad it felt silly, books like this can be ridiculous or lots of fun.

  14. February 28, 2013 12:58 pm

    I hate when that happens. It doesn’t sound like one I would enjoy either.

  15. February 28, 2013 3:04 pm

    I haven’t read this author before, but I think the outrageousness of the situations may make listening to this even worse than reading it…but I could be wrong.

  16. February 28, 2013 5:36 pm

    It looks fun based on the cover, but the description is a little over the top for me. Thanks for giving us the low-down.

  17. Patty permalink
    February 28, 2013 10:07 pm

    Oh well…you can’t love them all!

  18. February 28, 2013 10:10 pm

    Oh I can’t handle monotonous narrators. Surprising that the author who knows his story best wouldn’t infuse more excitement into it.

  19. February 28, 2013 10:19 pm

    I think sometimes the author reading their own book isn’t the best choice. Except for Neil Gaiman—he can get away with it. Sorry this one didn’t work for you. It sounds over the top and too crazy for me too.

  20. sandynawrot permalink
    March 1, 2013 6:35 am

    I listened to his Lunatics on audio, and it was narrated by him and some other guy. And I just couldn’t embrace the insanity. It was total insanity. I think if I were in a light-hearted mood I would have loved it more but it was so ridiculous that in the mood I was in, I was just annoyed.

  21. March 1, 2013 7:06 am

    I often find that to be the case with humor … it grows thin after a while.

  22. bookingmama permalink
    March 1, 2013 3:48 pm

    I doubt you’re too old! It doesn’t sound like my type of book either.

  23. March 1, 2013 6:41 pm

    Thanks for the honest review Kathy. A month or so ago I listened to a book that I thought would have been better to read also…I guess we just never know!

  24. March 2, 2013 1:01 pm

    I’m not sure that any of his books have ever appealed to me.

  25. March 3, 2013 8:24 am

    I’ve never read any by this author. The word “outrageous” doesn’t sound like something I’d like to read. Thanks for the heads up!

  26. March 3, 2013 8:15 pm

    I’ve heard his fiction is too much over the top. Not for me I think!

  27. March 4, 2013 11:20 pm

    Sounds like his reading it himself was a big mistake!

  28. March 5, 2013 3:52 pm

    How disappointing that you didn’t enjoy it. This was my first time reading Dave Barry and I found myself laughing out loud several times. You do have to suspend expectations and go along for the ride as it is pretty outlandish.

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