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5.0 out of 5 stars A FIRST-RATE READING, 16 Oct 2002
By 
Gail Cooke (TX, USA) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Tricky Business (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
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This review is from: Tricky Business (Paperback)
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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5.0 out of 5 stars The best boat trip you will ever take, 8 Mar 2004
By 
Baret K. "UK" (London United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Tricky Business (Paperback)
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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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 - See all my reviews
(HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Tricky Business (Hardcover)
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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