Lunatics

( 36 )

Overview

One of them is a bestselling Pulitzer Prize-winning humorist. The other is a winner of the Thurber Prize for American Humor. Together, they form the League of Comic Justice, battling evildoers in the name of . . . Okay, we made that line up. What they do form is a writing team of pure comic genius, and they will have you laughing like idiots.

Philip Horkman is a happy man-the owner of a pet store called The Wine Shop, and on Sundays a referee for kids' soccer. Jeffrey Peckerman ...

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Lunatics

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Overview

One of them is a bestselling Pulitzer Prize-winning humorist. The other is a winner of the Thurber Prize for American Humor. Together, they form the League of Comic Justice, battling evildoers in the name of . . . Okay, we made that line up. What they do form is a writing team of pure comic genius, and they will have you laughing like idiots.

Philip Horkman is a happy man-the owner of a pet store called The Wine Shop, and on Sundays a referee for kids' soccer. Jeffrey Peckerman is the sole sane person in a world filled with goddamned jerks and morons, and he's having a really bad day. The two of them are about to collide in a swiftly escalating series of events that will send them running for their lives, pursued by the police, soldiers, terrorists, subversives, bears, and a man dressed as Chuck E. Cheese.

Where that all takes them you can't begin to guess, but the literary journey there is a masterpiece of inspiration and mayhem. But what else would you expect from the League of Comic Justice?

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  • Dave Barry & Alan Zweibel
    Dave Barry & Alan Zweibel  

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Humorists Barry (Tricky Business) and Zweibel (The Other Shulman) team up to spin the madcap adventure of Philip Horkman and Jeffrey A. Peckerman, who meet on the soccer pitch of a Fort Lee, N.J., girls’ 10-and-under league championship game, where Horkman calls Peckerman’s daughter offside. Alternating chapters of mutual loathing between Horkman, a coarse, “forensic plumber,” and Peckerman, the progressive owner of a pet store called the Wine Shop, chronicle a fight that escalates by accident and miscalculation to encompass high seas piracy and revolution. As unwitting as the characters in Woody Allen’s Without Feathers—or, better yet, as inept as Bananas’ Fielding Mellish—Horkman and Peckerman stumble over themselves trying to escape police, nudists, a lemur named Buddy, a tank in Tiananmen Square, fruit-wielding Somalis, Yemeni terrorists, Chuck E. Cheese, and Donald Trump. Energetic, scatological, and profoundly silly. Agents: (for Barry) Amy Berkower, Writers House; (for Zweibel) Laura Nolan, Paradigm. (Jan. 10)
Kirkus Reviews
A novel for those who love one-liners, outrageous characters and loopy plots. Jeffrey Peckerman has a beef—plenty of them, in fact, but his initial one involves what he views as an unfair offsides call at his 11-year-old daughter's soccer game. The ref who makes the questionable call is Philip Horkman, owner of a pet store incongruously called The Wine Shop (because his in-laws, the Wines, funded his business venture). And thus begins one of the strangest buddy novels of this or any century. The hapless characters begin a hate-hate relationship that literally takes them around the globe, starting with an escaped lemur, an insulin pump and the misapprehension that Peckerman and Horkman are members of al-Qaeda trying to blow up the George Washington Bridge. To escape, they make their way onto a cruise ship about to leave New York harbor, only to discover that it's clothing optional. Horkman starts to fall in love with a nun (after all, she's not wearing her habit) and plunges overboard to save her when she's swept away in a storm. From here events get even goofier, as the two opponents land in Cuba (and co-lead a revolution), then go to Mozambique (and are captured by pirates), thence to Yemen (where they are rescued by the Mossad), afterwards to Beijing (and lead a protest in Tiananmen Square), and finally to California, where they meet Donald Trump at the Republican National Convention and where Horkman, despite being a Democrat, is nominated for president. (Later, Peckerman becomes the Democratic nominee, but his obscenity-laced speeches are the despair of his handlers.) Throughout their romp around the world they're constantly at each other's throats, either literally or metaphorically, Horkman's prissiness playing off of Peckerman's crude cynicism. An antidote, if one is needed, to gritty urban realism.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780425253373
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA)
  • Publication date: 12/31/2012
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 352
  • Sales rank: 369,347
  • Product dimensions: 5.10 (w) x 7.90 (h) x 1.20 (d)

Meet the Author

Dave Barry is proud to have been elected Class Clown by the Pleasantville High School class of 1965. From 1983 to 2004, he wrote a weekly humor column for The Miami Herald, which in 1988 won the Pulitzer Prize for Commentary. He is the author of some thirty books, his most recent bestsellers including his Peter Pan prequels, written with Ridley Pearson; his Christmas story The Shepherd, The Angel, and Walter the Christmas Miracle Dog; Dave Barry’s History of the Millennium (So Far); and I’ll Mature When I’m Dead. Barry lives in Coral Gables, Florida, with his family and a domestic staff of forty-seven.

Alan Zweibel is an original Saturday Night Live writer who The New York Times said has “earned his place in the pantheon of American pop culture.” He is the winner of lots and lots of Emmy Awards for his work in television, which also includes It’s Garry Shandling’s Show, Monk, Curb Your Enthusiasm, and PBS’s Great Performances. He won the Thurber Prize for his novel The Other Shulman, and collaborated with Billy Crystal on the Tony Award–winning play 700 Sundays. Zweibel and his wife, Robin, live in Short Hills, New Jersey, because they enjoy paying exorbitantly high property taxes.

Biography

In the introduction to Dave Barry Is Not Taking This Sitting Down, the author addresses the desirability of his job as a humor writer and syndicated columnist. "It looks so easy!" he wrote. "...Every year, hundreds of thousands of people try their hand at this demanding profession. After a few months, almost all of them have given up and gone back to the ninth grade."

Yes, Barry is juvenile at times -- but he has achieved the kind of success that can only come from combining a juvenile mind with intelligence, timing, and a keen eye for the absurd. Favorite Barry targets include government inanity, dogs, guys, the Internet, and other oddities of life. He also specializes in weird news and urban myths involving UFO hunters, Pop-Tart science, and toilets. Many of these essays feature the line that has become his catchphrase, "I am not making this up." (Unless, of course, he is introducing something serious and daunting such as a book about the federal government, in which case he reassures that he has made everything up.)

Usually, though, he's not making it up. What he's doing is making it very funny. Whether the target is Congress or commercials, Barry refuses to take anything seriously, least of all himself – but he manages to convey some pretty indicting truths in the process. He's a master of irony and visual punchlines, sometimes interrupting himself with lists, snippets of dialogue, or other on-topic digressions. On the subject of turning 50 and dealing with waning eyesight (a "good thing" about aging, because "you can't read anything"), Barry describes finding restaurant menus suddenly printed "in letters the height of bacteria." He continues: "For some reason, everybody else seemed to be able to read the menus. Not wishing to draw attention to myself, I started ordering my food by simply pointing to a likely looking blur.

ME (pointing to a blur): I'll have this.
WAITER: You'll have "We Do Not Accept Personal Checks"?
ME: Make that medium rare."

Barry has had the most successful and prolific publishing career of any working newspaper columnist, and his humor never seems to go out of style. In 1999, he decided to try his hand at fiction. The result was Big Trouble, a comic thriller à la Carl Hiassen (though filled more with gags than guns) that Entertainment Weekly proclaimed "... not only very funny, [but] sure-footed, even-handed, levelheaded, and other leading book review adjectives." In 2004, he and Ridley Pearson collaborated on Peter and the Starcatchers, a clever prequel to Peter Pan that spawned two additional novels and a series of spin-off children's chapter books.

Along with several other published authors, Barry is a member of the musical group Rock Bottom Remainders. In assessing the band's talents, he has been quoted as saying: "They are not musically skilled, but they are extremely loud."

Good To Know

The Rock Bottom Remainders was originally organized by a publicist to perform at the 1992 American Booksellers Association convention. The members -- which include (or have included) Barry, Stephen King, Amy Tan, Ridley Pearson, Barbara Kingsolver, Mitch Albom, and Matt Groening -- even took their show on the road at one point, turning it into the now out-of-print Mid-Life Confidential: The Rock Bottom Remainders Tour America with Three Chords and an Attitude.

Some things never change: Barry was elected class clown by his Pleasantville High School class in 1965.

Barry got his start in journalism at the Daily Local News in West Chester, Pennsylvania, then worked as a business writing consultant before joining the Miami Herald in 1983.

Attempts to convert Barry's humor to the screen have been less than memorable. The early '90s CBS sitcom based on two of his books and starring Harry Anderson, Dave's World, was short-lived; the spring 2002 release Big Trouble, starring Tim Allen, didn't fare well at the box office. Barry did, however, get a cameo in the latter.

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

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
( 36 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(11)

4 Star

(9)

3 Star

(4)

2 Star

(5)

1 Star

(7)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 36 Customer Reviews
  • Posted February 1, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    If you have a sense of humor a MUST read

    My mothere read the book I did the audio (which is read by authors- even better). I haven't laughed this hard in a long time. I am talking giggle cackle haha funny stuff. It will be hard to find a book that compares to this humor.
    I hope they make a movie!

    5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted February 28, 2012

    What a hoot!

    I really enjoyed "Lunatics" and would gladly read another collaboration by these two. I love being able to read in the car in the dark on long trips thanks to my Nook Color and spent a long car trip reading this book out loud to my husband. I got tired of telling him- "you have to read this book, it is HILARIOUS!" Lots and lots of laugh out loud moments. --ReadadaBeada

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 12, 2012

    Not so much

    While the story line was entertaining the language was atrocious and vulgar!!!!

    3 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 10, 2012

    A big disappointment.

    I love Dave Barry's two solo novels for adults, "Big Trouble" and "Tricky Business," so my disappointment with this one is, frankly, easy to blame on his co-author, Alan Zweibel.

    The two main characters were completely unlovable, the plot went from "wild and crazy" to "asinine and stupid," and the language seemed ridiculously heavy with profanity. (This last in contrast to Dave Barry's solo novels, which, yes, had profanity-- but didn't have anything *like* the amount of profanity in "Lunatics.")

    Overall, I cannot recommend this one.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 6, 2012

    Funny!

    Typical Dave Barry humor. I laughed out loud while reading. However, the language is sometimes offensive and over the top, so some people might not enjoy this novel.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 20, 2012

    Laugh Out Loud Fantastix

    This is a terrific book! I laughed out loud so hard i scared the dog & pissed off my partner. I have not enjoyed a book in SO long. Seriously - I did not want this book to end, I was having so much fun. If I don't die of cancer it is totally because of all thevgreat energy I generated from laughing my ass off for 2 days! If you want to live to 100 ... buy this book. Better than tofu & goes down a helluva lot easier!!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 21, 2012

    Hilarous story

    I love Dave Barry so decided to give this one a try. The story is hilarious, and of course completely unbelievable, but so creative and funny that I couldn't stop laughing in the beginning. I thought the ending could have been better, they kind of lost me with the whole presidential campaign thing. All in all, though, I thoroughly enjoyed this book.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 13, 2012

    not for profanity sensitive

    This books starts off funny and entertaining. By the forth chapter, I was surprised I was still reading it. Lots of profanity and antics while the underlying story of friendship is ackward and quirky. It is also crude.

    2 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 31, 2012

    One of the funniest books I've ever read!

    What an apt title for a book like this. Phillip and Jeffery really are lunatics. I've had to stop read several time because I was laughing so hard. The whole premise is out there but it is so funny you can't stop reading. These two authors have written a great book that I would recommend to everyone you won't be sorry.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 27, 2012

    Awesome book, a must read if you are a Dave Barry fan!

    I am not even done reading this book and I have laughed to the point of crying at least twice. The premise is ridiculous, but that's what makes it so funny. You should check it out! It works perfect on the NookColor, too, and it was the second book I bought for my Nook.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 27, 2012

    This book had me laughing out loud! I would definitely recommen

    This book had me laughing out loud! I would definitely recommend it to others.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 6, 2012

    Funny!

    100% improbable, but amusing and appealing. I wanted to keep reading to the end to find out what crazy thing would happen next. Remember the movie Forrest Gump? Where there were all those photos of historic events and Forrest's face showed up in the photos? That's a parallel to the improbability of this book. Enjoyable read!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 3, 2014

    Totally ridiculous story line and therein lies the humour. A lau

    Totally ridiculous story line and therein lies the humour. A laugh-out-loud book. I had to keep reading
     it to see what next would happen to the 2 lunatics.
     I've given it 3 stars because of the language. It would have been a great Book Club option if not for
    the cursing and vulgar  words.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted April 29, 2013

    This was positively the funniest book I have ever read. I'm a f

    This was positively the funniest book I have ever read. I'm a fan of the early Stephanie Plum novels by Janet Evanovich so was looking for another funny fiction book. I was laughing so hard, my eyes were watering. Truly great adult humor that made me sad the book had to end.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted March 29, 2013

    Dave Barry is crazy

    Crazy entertaining. A perfect read for a nasty, cloudy, overcast day.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 5, 2013

    You can only suspend logic to a point.

    I bought this book after seeing Jimmy Fallon interview Alan Zweibel. Zweibel was very funny and intelligent in the interview, but this book offers no evidence of either attribute. If the characters have underlying issues that cause them to act completely irrationally, the authors keep them concealed from the reader. This left me asking, "Why did he/she do that?" far too often during the read. The book is meant to be outlandish, but the authors are not at all clever about making the reader believe one word of it is plausible. At one point two of the characters are carrying around $200 million dollars, totally comprised of $100 bills, contained in two duffle bags. This amount of $100 bills would weigh roughly two metric tons, or about 4400 lbs. There are many other errors involving impossible physics that I personally found insulting to the reader. The book is sloppy work framing blunt jokes that weren't funny enough to offset the overall shoddy writing. The next time these two get drunk and dictate a book they then publish word-for-word, they won't get my ten bucks for their half-assed effort. I could offer a dozen other specific examples of why I loathe this book, but if you decide to read it anyway I don't want to spoil it for you. I'll leave that task to the authors.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 11, 2013

    Disappointing!

    I'm a fan of Dave Barry but was disappointed in this book. It is mildly funny, but full of bathroom humor with very little story content. If this was the first book I read by this author I would not be reading further!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 21, 2012

    A terrible farce

    Potty mouth language in ever increasing improbable situations. Only one of our four-member book group could make it all the way through.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 1, 2012

    Amazinglyy Funny

    I love this book, I read it twice and find myself laughing out loud everytime. I basically recommended this to everyone and they all loved it!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 17, 2012

    Lunatics

    Hilarious can only imgine how much fun they had writing it very funny laugh out loud clever writing thanks guys

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 36 Customer Reviews

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