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3.4 39
by Dave Barry

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Philip Horkman is a happy man, the owner of a pet store called The Wine Shop, and on Sundays a referee for a local kids’ soccer league. Jeffrey Peckerman is the proud and loving father of a star athlete in the girls’ ten-and-under soccer league, and he’s not exactly happy with the ref.

The two of them are about to collide in a swiftly


Philip Horkman is a happy man, the owner of a pet store called The Wine Shop, and on Sundays a referee for a local kids’ soccer league. Jeffrey Peckerman is the proud and loving father of a star athlete in the girls’ ten-and-under soccer league, and he’s not exactly happy with the ref.

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, subversives, bears, revolutionaries, pirates, and a black ops team that does not exist. Where all that takes them you can’t even begin to guess, but the literary journey there is a masterpiece of inspiration, chaos, and unadulterated, well, lunacy. And they might even learn a lesson or two along the way.

From the Trade Paperback edition.

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

“A s**tload of hilarious fun.”—The Kentucky Democrat

“As bizarre as their adventures are, there's a strange sense of believability…That helps keep the story fresh and the pages turning…Creative, unusual and over the top.” —The Associated Press

“Rare political satire…With world affairs in the toilet, Barry and Zweibel bring us what we need: comic relief.”— The Boston Globe

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.

Product Details

Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date:
Sold by:
Penguin Group
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File size:
708 KB
Age Range:
18 Years

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher
“Putting Barry and Zweibel in close proximity is sort of like juggling torches while walking a wire over a vat of kerosene; sooner or later, there’s gonna be a big, big bang. A rocket-fueled romp whose pages practically turn themselves.”—BookPage

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 include 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.

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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Lunatics: A Novel 3.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 39 reviews.
SillyGoose More than 1 year ago
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!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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.
ReadadaBeada More than 1 year ago
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
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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.
mcduff1495 More than 1 year ago
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.
KC23 More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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.
psychedforreading More than 1 year ago
This book had me laughing out loud! I would definitely recommend it to others.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
While the story line was entertaining the language was atrocious and vulgar!!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Didn't read the book, rather listened to the audio book, tead by the two authors. Can I tell you how many times I literally bent over with laughter? Too many to count. Great book!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
stephanie christiansen More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed Dave Barry's Insane City more, but this one was also funny.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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.
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MysteryLovingMom More than 1 year ago
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.
TECP More than 1 year ago
Crazy entertaining. A perfect read for a nasty, cloudy, overcast day.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Hilarious can only imgine how much fun they had writing it very funny laugh out loud clever writing thanks guys