Insane City

Dave Barry. Putnam, $26.95 (352p) ISBN 978-0-399-15868-1
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.)
Reviewed on: 11/05/2012
Release date: 01/29/2013
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