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4.1 out of 5 stars
4.1 out of 5 stars
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on 14 June 2001
Goes for the same screwball chase-thriller funny bone so often targetted by Carl Hiaasen, and if its not as good as the master at his best, its probably better than one or two of his more disappointing recent efforts. Certainly the cast are all here - russian arms dealers, the feds, mob hit-men, teenaged water-pistol assassins, and the usual Corps-de-ballet of Floridian low-lives. The author manages to juggle numerous plot lines with some dexterity, and move things forward to a suitably explosive climax. As one might expect from his background, he clearly has a very large stack of funny one liners, although they do just occasionally feel shoe-horned into the text - but that is to nit-pick. Overall this is a funny, engaging thriller. Perfect for the plane journey to Florida.....?
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on 23 October 1999
Last week I was in a bookstore in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, only to discover that I had missed a talk by one of my favourite authors, Carl Hiaason, by a couple of days. The sales clerk was also a fan and suggested that I read Big Trouble by Dave Barry, an old friend of Hiaason. Despite sleep deprivation, I finished it on the plane home and feel compelled to write how wonderful it was. The sales clerk dared me not to laugh out loud within the first ten pages. Call me sad, but I was genuinely laughing at the credits!
Inevitably this book is goiing to be compared to his old mate, the until now, King of the Hiaason genre. I don't know who was writing first - it appears that they boith started life as newspaper journalists - but either way, this is as good as, if not better, than Hiaason at his best. And anyone who's read Double Whammy or Tourist Season knows how good that is.
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on 6 November 2001
I have never read any of Dave Barry's books before and I understand that this was his first attempt at fiction.
I, like the previous reviewer, bought this book with Amazon reviews in mind, but I wasn't disappointed! I enjoyed how each character unfolded and, with each turn of the page, began to fit the jigsaw that was unfolding before my eyes. This book was not meant to be taken seriously and I certainly refrained from doing so. It is quite obviously meant to be so absurd as to be unreal, but with some very funny characters to boot.
I'm glad I read it and I'll certainly try other books by Mr Barry. I just hope his non-fiction is as good!
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on 8 February 2000
I have all of Dave Barry's other books, so was awaiting his first novel with interest. I was also somewhat apprehensive, since someone who is an excellent columnist is not necessarily going to be a good novelist; however, I needn't have worried. The book is very well written, very entertaining and runs at a good pace. I made the mistake of starting to read it in bed one night ('I'll just read one chapter and see what it's like') and ended up reading the whole thing at one sitting. I always feel that an ending should be 'right' (in my own view, of course, not necessarily anyone else's!) and this book has just that kind of ending as far as I'mn concerned. I'm looking forward to Dave's next bok whether it's one of his usual kind or another novel.
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on 25 March 2003
Don't buy this book.
Stick to Carl Hiassen, he does it sooooooo much better.
Big Trouble is a dreadful lightweight story, that does get marginally better at the end. Its full of gaps and the characters are very one-dimensional. It seems that the author wrote this in such a hurry he forgot to give us more in depth descriptions of all the main characters - of which there are far too many for such a short story.
He has obviously tried to copy Carl Hiassen, and failed miserably.
So I would recommend ANYTHING by Hiassen instead of this, and for those that have read all of Hiassen's books, and your still looking for more mad-cap Florida hilarious novels, then read them again instead of this, you will be far more tickled !!
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on 7 April 2000
This guy is funny. He has a rare talent for hitting the comic nail on its head. This book, however, is dismal. Sure, there are plenty of great one liners, but the characters and the narrative are so dreary you forget that it's supposed to be humour. It's just not enough to lace a lazy plot with the odd observational crack. There's nothing approximating tension, drama, or momentum, and it wanders off in all sorts of unconvincing directions. It's easy to see what he's trying to do but he's so far off the pace of Elmore Leonard and Carl Hiassen that he shouldn't have started the race.
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on 14 April 2000
A good read which I thoroughly enjoyed even though it did come across as a rather self-conscious effort. I had a slight feeling that he daren't allow any let-up in the breathless pace and humour in case his creation fell through a hole in the floor. The whole thing has a rather two-dimensional cartoon quality is but blessed with the cartoonist's talent for bringing us well-visualised mayhem. Might be a good movie at that! If he eases up and tries less hard next time, he could find that missing third dimension.
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on 15 May 2001
This has to be one of the funniest books I have ever read. Dave Barry - put simply - creates an unbelievable tale encompassing quick wit, hilarious one-liners and disasterous consequences which stops you putting the book down until you've finished. When the end comes, its disappointing because you want the fun to last forever. The characters are individually funny; I'm from the UK and it's excellent how My Barry ends up making fun out of Florida\Miami and Americans in general. Click on the BUY button now!
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on 4 March 2001
I eagerly awaited the delivery of this book having read the Amazon reviews. When it arrived I was even more convinced "I laughed so hard I fell out of a chair" it said on the back cover attributed to Stephen King. I wonder if this is the same Stephen King who is credited under the Acknowledments for his advice to the author. I finished this book three days ago and all I can say is that it was totally forgetable and lightweight. No nore Mr Barry for me I'm afraid
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on 7 April 2003
There are not many books which have seen me sitting in front of the TV and a) not paying any attention whatsoever to aforesaid TV and b) drawing my other half's attention away from aforesaid TV due to my insane, out loud cackling. I devoured the book in one evening - it's an un-put-downable, cracking and VERY funny novel.
Can't wait to start the next one - bring it on Dave Barry!!
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