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Tricky Business (Unabridged)
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Tricky Business (Unabridged) [Audio Download]

by Dave Barry (Author), Dick Hill (Narrator)
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
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Product details

  • Audio Download
  • Listening Length: 8 hours and 12 minutes
  • Program Type: Audiobook
  • Version: Unabridged
  • Publisher: Brilliance Audio
  • Audible.co.uk Release Date: 14 Sep 2004
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B002SQ6L84
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
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Product Description

The Extravaganza of the Seas is a 5,000 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, says Carl Hiaasen, "one of the funniest writers alive".

©2003 Dave Barry; (P)2004 Brilliance Audio, Inc.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars The best boat trip you will ever take 8 Mar 2004
Dave Barry at his best. That says it all. And if you are not familiar with Dave Barry's work, it is high time that you do become so! For you do not know what you are missing.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A FIRST-RATE READING 16 Oct 2002
By Gail Cooke TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Audio Cassette
Popular funny man Dave Barry hits another homer with his second laugh provoking mystery novel, while talented voice actor Dick Hill reads this rollicking tale with punch and panache.
The Extravaganza of the Seas is a floating casino that transports gamblers just far enough away from the Florida coast. Despite a tropical storm alert the owner of the ship orders it to sea; he has plans to hijack the drugs being smuggled aboard ship by some local Mafioso.
What a cast of characters! There is Fay Benton, a single mom hoping to get lucky for the sake of her child; two rascals in their eighties who have fled the confines of the Beaux Arts Senior Center; a motley bunch of mobsters; and Johnny and the Contusions, the ship's orchestra (if, of course, you are tone deaf).
The storms brings more than high winds to the passengers, and brings happy smiles to listeners as the fate of this madcap voyage is revealed.
Dave Barry again proves himself to be a first-rate fiction writer, and Dick Hill does another star turn.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Funny Story 29 Sep 2003
The trials and tribulations of drug smugglers don't usually include chronic sea-sickness or a large pink-suited shell-fish, but only incompetents would use a Florida gambling ship, packed full of assorted pensioners on the run from their Rest Home, musicians who have failed so thoroughly, their only inspiration is the next roach, and waitresses who would rather be anywhere than here.
Add in compulsive fruit machine players, a cook who doesn't, and a tropical storm, and the scene is set for another breathless chase through a plot with so many pieces attached, it's like the storm itself. Only funnier. Much much funnier, and even rather rude in places. Comes with a bad language warning in the preface, and a few final pages that tie up all the odd ends from the plot. Wonderful!
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars I Am a Dave Barry Rookie 19 Oct 2002
By taking a rest HALL OF FAME
I can only comment on this tale, so while others have said it does not measure up to his previous work, this novel had some wicked, razor sharp humor. The author really offers readers two elements, a novel to read, and a novel as a device to eviscerate current and recurring issues.
The story itself is not one that I found to be exceptional, but there are a few characters that provide social commentary that is painfully funny. The author also skewers such hallowed institutions as the press. His specific target is television with the anchors including, "the bubble headed bleach blonde" made famous by The Eagles. A tropical storm plays a role in the book and is the catalyst for the local news to report once again on another tropical storm, but this storm offers something other than the repetitive footage of mayhem at the supermarket. In their mindless zeal in pursuit of tabloid news these geniuses lose 9 of their staff to the storm. The nine they lose also happen to be the only nine people who die in the entire state.
My favorite players were Arnie and Phil who live at what they have named, "The Old Farts Senile Dying Center". Both are octogenarians that enjoy life as much or more than they ever did thanks to marvelous scientific inventions like Viagra. The repartee between these two is reminiscent of that between the players who once graced television during the 11 year run of MASH.
To give you an idea of how extreme this story gets, these two curmudgeons wrestle a submarine to shore, finally grounding it on the beach at The Breakers. Then there is the Conch Shell who is an outlaw and killer, the mob, and a variety of characters that would be at home in an Elmore Leonard novel adapted to film, or possibly put on screen by Quentin Tarentino.
I thought the book a bit drawn out, but when this writer is funny you will laugh until the neighbors complain.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 3.6 out of 5 stars  112 reviews
23 of 25 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Madcap Romp In The Sea 4 Nov 2002
By Louis N. Gruber - Published on Amazon.com
A farcical madcap romp in which literature collides with Dave Barry--in the Atlantic Ocean--and both get soaked. Other reviewers have outlined the plot. Basically a lot of people with different agendas get caught up in a midnight cruise on the Extravaganza of the Seas. Which is a more-or-less legal offshore gambling ship, as well as a strictly illegal drug-running ship.
While the characters are plotting and scheming, double-crossing each other, trying to have a little fun, or just trying to survive, the ship heads out into Hurricane Hector.
Barry tells the story with his usual comic flair, lots of bad words, his usual fascination with bodily fluids, a little adolescent sexuality, and a bottomless capacity to laugh at everything, including himself. Dave Barry is not a great novelist, knows it, doesn't take himself too seriously, and seemed to enjoy writing this book as much as I enjoyed reading it. I would have preferred a little less blood and gore, but hey! For what it was, it worked. If you're not too uptight, you will love it.
10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars long live dave barry 14 Oct 2002
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
What does a giant pink conch, gas passing croupier, cocktail waitress/Coast Guard employee, horny cover band drummer and a gaggle of thugs have in common? Nothing, unless they're aboard a cruise ship in Dave Barry's "Tricky Business." Not quite as good as his first novel, "Big Trouble," but still pretty good, "Tricky," features Barry column staples: bodily function jokes, insights on the differences between the sexes - but those considering giving this book to young Barry fans, would do well to read the foreword, in which he states not one, but three times, that THIS BOOK CONTAINS SOME BAD WORDS. (Actually, more than a few.) Kudos for the warning, although those who are the most likely to get offended, probably won't read it.

Like "Big Trouble," "Tricky" has a plot hard to sum up in a few words, but involves sharply drawn "good" guys who eventually wind up in a contained space with the (far too many one syllable named) bad guys and mayhem results, along with an explanation of why women never seem to fart. Good read although I had to admit I missed Puggy, of the first book.
12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Enjoy It For What It Is 29 May 2003
By John Standiford - Published on Amazon.com
If you want to read a fun story that is an easy read and will make you laugh, pick up this book and enjoy yourself. If you are looking for serious literature with important insights on the human condition and the meaning of life, I suggest you look elsewhere.
This funny story set on a gambling boat sailing in a hurricane is quite witty and creative. Along the way Barry manages to skewer local news broadcasters, organized crime, backsliding professional musicians, senior citizens, and the primal urge to gamble.
The story itself which involves underworld drug dealing and profit skimming along with an action plot isn't all that important. It's merely there to give Barry an opportunity to make funny observations and create memorable characters.
The bottom line is that it's funny but I'm not sure I would recommend paying the full hardcover price for it. [...]
13 of 17 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Misfires with gratuitous violence and sex 1 May 2003
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
"Tricky Business" is the story of a rundown cruise ship that makes nightly runs three miles offshore so people can gamble away their money. Of course, being a Dave Barry book, it includes a large assortment of oddball characters, including a pothead guitarist, a single-mom cocktail waitress, a guy in a conch costume, and an entrepreneur who specializes in both newspaper-filled car air bags and badly augmented breasts.
As someone who giggled and guffawed his way through Dave Barry's "Big Trouble," I eagerly awaited his second novel, fully expecting the same gonzo writing that made his first book so appealing. But when I sat down to read "Tricky Business," I instead found gangsters killing each other in ever more inventive and bloody ways, a repulsively detailed mass-vomiting scene, and truly gratuitous amounts of sex.
And yet the book would have been acceptable even with all this, had it been funny. Instead, the belly laughs that made "Big Trouble" so enjoyable are largely absent in this book, mostly replaced by weak grins and an occasional chuckle. There are a few very comical scenes involving such oddities as flatulence during sex and how the band winds up on this cruise ship to hell; these alone save "Tricky Business" from a one-star rating. But when I pick up a Dave Barry book, I really don't want to read in excruciating detail about how one lowlife amputates various body parts off another lowlife. I can see stuff like that on the evening news for free.
Sadly, Dave Barry has badly misfired with "Tricky Business." He should steer clear of murderously unfunny criminals and get back to what he's best at, namely booger jokes.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars 'Business' proves Barry still has a few tricks up his sleeve 27 Dec 2003
By Sneakers - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
It was an unexpected but pleasant surprise a few years ago to find that Dave Barry, whose column is read, laughed at, and enjoyed the world over by hundreds upon thousands of people, could actually write stories. But in his debut novel, Big Trouble, he proved just that. His follow up, Tricky Business, trails in the wake of 'Trouble'...literally. The story, about a casino cruise ship and those who come to find themselves upon it on a fateful 'dark and stormy night', has many of the same trappings that made Barry's first foray into fiction so well received. Here we have interesting characters (among them, the dysfunctional members of a band called Johnny and the Contusions, a few fed-up cocktail waitresses, and an endearing pair of nursing home rebellers - Arnie and Phil), a plot that twists, turns, and eventually comes together in a way that will make you smack your head in amazement when you finally realize what's really going on.
The only real departure in this book is the violence that Barry inflicts on some of the characters we become attached to. While every character in Big Trouble survived to the end of the book, the body count in Tricky Business is fairly high, sometimes even used as a dark joke (as is the case with some unfortunate workers at the fictious Newspex Nine news station). It is at the same time appropriate to the story and disturbing. One almost expects Barry to resurrect his fallen characters at some point before the end - though he never does. This is, however, a small bone to pick with a book that is laugh-out-loud funny and just as entertaining as anything else Barry has come up with.
And, if you're a fan of Dave's style, that's saying a lot.
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