The Extravaganza of the Seas is an ugly ship fully worthy of its name. As a refuge for offshore gamblers, the rickety craft attracts senior citizens, grifters, hard-luck waitresses, erstwhile high-rollers, and a strange melange of shadowy hired help. Then one day, the Extravaganza steams into a fierce hurricane that shakes everyone so vigorously that everything seems to change. A tasty Dave Barry concoction.
What happens when a cast of colorful South Florida losers gets in the path of rival criminals fighting over a pile of drugs on a casino boat? Dave Barry gets another movie deal, that's what. Like Big Trouble, the humorist's first work of fiction, it won't take much to bring this book to the screen. Between the wacky characters and clever plot twists, most elements of the book are so cinematic you can even picture what the trailer will look like. Save one: the verbal wit of a veteran humorist. A Nissan Sentra is afflicted with "some kind of car leprosy," while the gambling boat reeks of "stale smoke and beer-breath curses." And certain lines are classic Barry: "The first bullet made a small hole in his back and exited, much less neatly." More than mere movie fodder, Barry's crime capers are a socially acceptable way to enjoy a funny man without risking the embarrassment of getting caught reading something like Dave Barry's Complete Guide to Guys.
Humorist Barry (Big Trouble) brings together a motley group of South Florida eccentrics on an ill-fated casino boat voyage in his second full-length comic mystery novel. A tropical storm is bearing down on the Florida coast, but the Extravaganza of the Seas, a luxury gambling ship, sets sail on its nightly excursion in spite of the weather. Aboard are Fay Benton, an attractive cocktail waitress trying to make ends meet for her kid; a collection of pot-smoking would-be rockers (at least one of whom lives with his mother) who make up the ship's band, Johnny and the Contusions; a pair of wise-cracking octogenarians who've escaped an extended-care facility; and some Mafia-connected gangsters who use the ship's nightly voyages to smuggle drugs onto the mainland. Bobby Kemp, the ship's titular owner, insists that the Extravaganza go out in the storm because he's chosen this night to hijack the drug deal. In the background, a local television station plays a role straight from Keystone Kops as its reporters frantically cover the approaching storm with consistently fatal results. Barry once again showcases his gently satiric style, with barbs aimed at overbearing mothers, corrupt officials, inept authorities and, of course, the American crime novel itself, which he sends up with absurd plotting, astronomical body count and plenty of gratuitous nudity and (PG-rated) sex. Belying self-deprecating disclaimers about his talent for fiction, Barry demonstrates that he can draw some captivating characters and keep a reader's attention in spite of-or perhaps because of-slapstick antics and a fascination with scatology. Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
Barry's (Big Trouble) latest novel is a farce centered on a Miami-based casino cruise ship, whose underworld owners order the captain to sea despite a tropical storm descending on South Florida. However, the voyage is not for the benefit of the oddball collection of gamblers, bartenders, barmaids, and the ship's band; the trip is an appointment with a double-crossing sea captain for a drug-related transaction. Barry presents a fascinating cast of strange characters, including the pot-smoking band and two gamblers who escaped from a Miami senior citizens center. Narrator Dick Hill's wonderful reading adds to the pleasure. Just plain fun; recommended for all audio collections.-Stephen L. Hupp, West Virginia Univ. Parkersburg Lib. Copyright 2003 Cahners Business Information.
The master of American poop ’n’ doody–based satire returns to the Miami Crime-a-rama scene of his debut novel (Big Trouble, 1999).
The problem with fiction is that it’s really, really hard to make up stuff as stupid as the real-life lunacy Barry routinely exposes in his humor columns. But he gives it a good try. The main targets are crumb-ball floating gambling casinos and local TV news. The Extravaganza of the Seas, a highly profitable commercial venture owned by entrepreneur Bobby Kemp, steams daily into international waters to accommodate the deep-seated need of low-income Americans to get rid of the little money they have as quickly as possible. Skippered by a reformed cocaine junky, the Extravaganza features: a free buffet that nobody touches because it’s always the same "food"; hard-luck waitresses; an evil croupier who reports to the local crime boss rather than the hapless owner; and a never-made-it rock band with orders not to distract the gamblers. And the ship has a second mission. Every now and then it heaves to on the open seas to off-load lots of cash and on-load lots of drugs, a task assigned by crime boss Lou Tarant and deeply resented by Bobby Kemp, who doesn’t make a cent on the sideline. Tarant’s relentless greed sends the ship and its load of nitwits, crooks, musicians, and slot-machine–obsessed Cuban grandmas into the teeth of hurricane Hector for an especially large pharmaceutical transaction complicated by a double-crossing coke shipper, his gang of hard-puking seasick cutthroats, a giant latex conch, a couple of wisecracking escapees from a senior center, and the deep longing of the band’s lead guitar for Fay, the pretty, long-legged, single mum waitress who ismore than she appears to be. Louder than the increasing winds are the hysterical TV weather-ravings of NewsPlex Nine.
Low humor that will appeal to all those guys who keep America moving slightly off-course and to the women who love them.