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Insane City

Insane City

3.9 61
by Dave Barry

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Seth Weinstein always knew Tina was way, way, way out of his league. Which is why he’s still astonished that he’s on a plane heading for their wedding in Florida. The Groom Posse has already pulled an airport prank on him—and he’s survived! It should be easy going from now on.

But Seth has absolutely no idea what he’s about to


Seth Weinstein always knew Tina was way, way, way out of his league. Which is why he’s still astonished that he’s on a plane heading for their wedding in Florida. The Groom Posse has already pulled an airport prank on him—and he’s survived! It should be easy going from now on.

But Seth has absolutely no idea what he’s about to get into. A simple drink or two with the boys sparks a series of events that will pit Seth and his friends against everything and everyone imaginable, from his very powerful, very disapproving soon-to-be father-in-law to the federal government to a love-struck orangutan.

Seth’s hope for smooth sailing is turning into a trip on the Titanic. And the water is getting deeper by the minute…

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
Praise for Lunatics by Dave Barry and Alan Zweibel

“An outrageously funny, irreverent, over-the-top comic mystery.”—Sun Sentinel

“Creative, unusual and over the top.” —The Associated Press

“A novel for those who love one-liners, outrageous characters and loopy plots.”—Kirkus Reviews

Praise for Dave Barry’s I’ll Mature When I’m Dead

“[Barry] is truly the funniest man living in the three mile ‘safe’ zone off the shores of America.”—Steve Martin

“Despite years of medication, Dave Barry is still the funniest damn writer in the whole country. Let’s hope he never grows up.”—Carl Hiaasen

“Fans know what to expect from Dave Barry: joke-packed prose and one-liners… and I'll Mature When I'm Dead continues that tradition.”—The Associated Press

The New York Times - Janet Maslin
Although Insane City creaks occasionally, it mostly lives up to the impressive Dave Barry standard of escapist fun.
Publishers Weekly
In Barry's very funny new novel, the destination wedding of a slacker protagonist and his beautiful lawyer fiancée goes haywire. Though Seth Weinstein tries to live up to Tina Clark's expectations, he's immediately thwarted. He's lost his suitcase, wedding ring, and Groom Posse before arriving, drunk, at the Miami hotel where he's to be married. His newly found companion, the fourth runnerup in the Miss Hot Amateur Bod competition, enlists her friend, who keeps a python as a pet, to help find the ring. The stripper that Seth didn't ask for greets him in his suite demanding payment. Seth goes in search of an ATM and returns, the next morning, with a nearly drowned Haitian woman and her children. The stripper's tab keeps climbing, and her pimp is unlikely to make a deal. Barry adds to the mix Tina's disapproving, social-climbing, billionaire parents and Seth's clueless mom and dad, complete with medicinal marijuana and matching tracksuits. Seth must also contend with an amorous orangutan and his soon-to-be-wife's family's bodyguards, one of whom has a grudge. None of the mayhem gets the better of Barry, whose sly observations, well-delineated characters, and intricate plotting mesh perfectly, even as the story reaches a frenetic dénouement aboard a pirate ship. Agent: Amy Berkower, Writers House. (Jan.)
Library Journal
Barry fans will not be surprised by the plot twists in his first adult novel in over a decade. Of course, any reader who enjoys Barry’s humorous tours through southern Florida will not care one bit about the lack of surprise in this tale about a slacker groom in way over his head after he loses his custom-made wedding bands at a bachelor party gone awry. It is not exactly a spoiler alert to note that the marriage between impossibly gorgeous, successful, and spoiled Tina and Seth, whose marketing job consists of tweeting about the quality of feminine hygiene products from a variety of Twitter accounts, may not come off as planned.

Verdict Barry does here what he does best—creates a set of memorable and outlandish characters and places them in ever-increasing chaotic and hilarious set-pieces as they move toward an inevitable conclusion. Some scenes and characters work better than others (hired muscle stuck behind a coupon clipper at CVS, the father of the bride’s desire to join an elite secret organization known as the “group of six,” a jewelry-stealing orangutan with a fondness for Cheez-its), and which will stick with readers the most depends upon their own experiences. But die-hard Barry fans will savor his usual lunacy. [See Prepub Alert, 7/30/12.]—Julie Elliott, Indiana Univ. Lib., South Bend(c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Kirkus Reviews
Hangovers, bridesmaids, Haitian refugees and rogue primates run amok in Miami. Big, goofy comedy in the vein of Carl Hiaasen and Tim Dorsey doesn't come by as often as most readers would like and neither do straight-up novels by the likes of Barry (Lunatics, 2012, etc.). So, to have two entries by the Pulitzer Prize-winning humorist in a single year is momentous. For this (nominally) adult-oriented novel, Barry returns to the broad strokes and over-the-top characters that marked early novels Big Trouble and Tricky Business. Seth Weinstein is a good-hearted, unambitious professional tweeter on the verge of marrying up to Tina Clark, a wealthy debutante whose affection for Seth is largely based on his sense of humor. Seth's "Groom Posse" has loaded up for his bachelor party with the traditional elements of booze, strippers and a complete lack of common sense, starting by stocking his baggage with sex toys. Back at the hotel, Tina and her sister Meghan work with wedding planners and try to reel in the Posse's antics while her father, a member of a secret cabal called The Group of Eleven, conspires to join the even more exclusive Group of Six. "So you're not bleeding from the head and hanging out with a Beyoncé look-alike and a Jerry Springer bouncer carrying a large snake?" Tina asks--it's one of those weekends. Despite the adult content, Barry keeps the humor good-naturedly bawdy while simultaneously throwing in everything but the kitchen sink. While the Groom Posse are standard fare from every bachelor-party film you've ever seen, the supporting cast is inspired insanity. Among the subjects of Barry's whacked-out character studies are Hot Bod competitor Cyndi, who takes a shine to Seth; wedding planner Blaze Gear, with assistants Traci and Tracee in tow; an angry, expensive stripper and her gargantuan pimp; a Haitian family on the run; and a rogue orangutan named Trevor. Yes, really. Utterly familiar but funny.

Product Details

Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date:
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
5.10(w) x 7.70(h) x 1.10(d)
Age Range:
18 Years

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What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher
Praise for INSANE CITY
“Picture The Hangover with a splash of Miami Vice, and you get Dave Barry's Insane City. . . This is a quick, fun (and laugh-out-loud funny) read, and the action never slows.”—Fort Worth Star-Telegram
"[A] very funny new novel . . . [Barry's] sly observations, well-delineated characters, and intricate plotting mesh perfectly."—Publishers Weekly
Praise for Dave Barry

“Dave Barry remains one of the funniest writers alive.”—Carl Hiaasen

“While reading Dave Barry’s Big Trouble, I laughed so loud I fell out of a chair. Luckily, there’s a rug, so I didn’t hurt myself.” —Stephen King

Meet the Author

DAVE BARRY is a Pulitzer Prize–winning columnist for the Miami Herald and a New York Times bestselling author.

Brief Biography

Miami, Florida
Date of Birth:
July 3, 1947
Place of Birth:
Armonk, New York
B.A. in English, Haverford College, 1969

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

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Insane City 3.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 61 reviews.
SCW More than 1 year ago
Read this book in one sitting. Hilarious. Could not put it down. As a one time resident of South Florida I just loved it. So glad for this book Dave Barry. Thank You. More more more more please.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Dave Barry has followed up his hilarious "Lunatics" with yet another highly entertaining epic. Filled with a widely diverse cast of characters, all of whom are thrown together to complicate an impending wedding, Barry leads us in a series of adventures on land and sea. I was crazy about this book.
SillyGoose More than 1 year ago
I love this book as much as I did Lunatics. Truly hysterical. Love the characters. Just when you think things have gotten so crazy something else happen it makes it even better. Let's just say a wedding weekend in Miami what's a miss matched couple, their family, marijuana brownies, a ring stealing orangatan, the Haitian lady and kids, a stripper and her boyfriend and many more characters. What could go wrong!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Let's put it this way: Dave Barry deserves his Pulitzer Prize. I don't know how he comes up with his fantastically funny and convoluted plots but his fiction is fantastic. Read this in one sitting through the night because I could not stop reading. Ten stars!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Fun read, especially from the point of view of a Miamian.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
5.0 out of 5 stars Miami Heat, January 30, 2013By Eric Smith - See all my reviews(REAL NAME)    This review is from: Insane City (Hardcover)Yes more books about our huge, Latin dominant cities - the mixed cultures - these make interesting stories. I always like Barry's approach. He understands the complexity and vying interests of the city. He brings humor to seriousness. It reminds me of the crime novel about San Antonio - No One Blames San Antonio for the Civil War.
tedfeit0 More than 1 year ago
There is no point in approaching this novel worrying about a plot: it’s just an old-fashioned romp. Ne’er-do-well Seth Weinstein for some reason is about to be married to the gorgeous, successful Tina Clark, high-powered Washington attorney, daughter of billionaire Mike Clark. The wedding is to take place at the Ritz-Carlton in Key Biscayne. So much for the story. The rest of the book is a series of mishaps, compounded by amusing incidents complicating the wedding event and personal relationships. The author means to keep the reader laughing minute after minute, and often succeeds. Great literature it is not intended to be, just a very amusing read. And so it is. Recommended.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Fast moving and hilarious. Dave Barry has not lost his touch.
RBeck More than 1 year ago
It was a fun and exciting story. I was waiting for Serge and Coleman to show up but I'm sure they were somewhere in the background.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Congrats to Dave Barry - this effort is fast paced, hard to put down and funny! If you are from South Florida you will love this book!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A way to explore an interesting mind
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I generally really enjoy Dave Barry. This one seemed like he took the movie The Hangover, and changed it from Vegas to Florida. If I hadn't seen the movie, I would have thought it was funny.
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StymieStone More than 1 year ago
Dave Berry does it again. this book is hilarious, especially the taxi that only plays one note on the radio. The situations just keep getting more and more real and hilarious at the same time.
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
For those not familiar with the concept of a "fish story," you take a normal, mundane, maybe even boring event and keep adding details to make it bigger, more impressive, funnier, and unbelievable, all the while keeping it even remotely plausible!! That's what Dave Barry has done here with the upcoming marriage of Tina Clark; a young, upwardly mobile attorney and the daughter of one of Forbes' top 100 richest men, and Seth Weinstein, a schlep from the middle, middle class who barely graduated college with a marketing degree and who's current employment involves him Tweeting about douche! Seth has arrived in Miami a day early with his "Groom Posse" for the inevitable bachelor's party. Following in the footsteps of "The Hangover", things go downhill from there...quickly. Seth's involvement with a snake handler and his girl friend, a plus size stripper and her "manager", a young Haitian mother who washes ashore illegally at the Ritz-Carleton beach, and an orangutan named Trevor make for hilarious hijinks that is larger than life and yet remains (remotely) plausible! Insane City will have you laughing out loud so choose your reading locale carefully! If you like Carl Hiassen, you'll like Insane City (and vice versa)!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I laughed out loud reading this book. I read to escape and it took me to a wonderful place! Couldn't wait to see how he was going to pull everything off!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Frist berry novel I,ve read. Wow! Can't wait to get to the next one.....p.s. beats the crap out of anything hiasin,s wrote in years
colo48 More than 1 year ago
Ridiculous waste of time. Miami may be filled with colorful characters, but the protagonist (seth) was a hapless, ineffectual, non-interesting figure, and the situation which should have been hilarious, was so contrived - it was not funny. Marty had the best part in the book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
While at first this book seemed a little too much like the Hangover movie, the book soon took off in its own direction. This book featured a variety of memorable characters and moved at a fast pace. The perfect book for someone looking for a light, hiliarious read!
Besen More than 1 year ago
I am a big Dave Barry fan, but this book is not up to his usual standards. It dragged quite a bit, and mostly just wasn't funny. No sharp insights, just tired gags. Nothing made me laugh out loud. But I'll still buy his next book; he is Dave Barry, after all.