cover image Lunatics


Dave Barry and Alan Zweibel. Putnam, $25.95 (320p) ISBN 978-0-399-15869-8

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)