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Authors: Dave Barry

Tricky Business

BOOK: Tricky Business
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Table of Contents
 
 
PRAISE FOR TRICKY BUSINESS
“FANS OF OUTLANDISH COMIC FICTION, AS WELL AS BARRY'S COLUMNS, WILL FIND MUCH TO ENJOY HERE.”
—Booklist
 
“Barry uses plots and characters in novels the way he does political issues in his columns—as platforms from which to launch his memorably nutty observations.”
—The Columbus Dispatch
 
“Barry demonstrates that he can draw some captivating characters and keep a reader's attention in spite of—or perhaps because of—slapstick antics . . .”
—Publishers Weekly
 
BIG RAVES FOR BIG TROUBLE
 
“I LAUGHED SO HARD I FELL OUT OF A CHAIR. This is the funniest thing I've read in almost forty years. It's his funniest, coolest book.”
—Stephen King
 
“The funniest book I've read in fifty years.”
—Elmore Leonard
 
“Dave Barry remains one of the funniest writers alive. This book will do for [Florida tourism] what Dennis Rodman did for bridal wear . . . outrageously warped, cheerfully depraved.”
—Carl Hiaasen
 
“Dave Barry succeeds wildly with
Big Trouble
. Far be it from me to demystify [it] in terms of plot. There are more important spiritual matters in this book to entertain readers, like . . . a highly agitated husband who believes the family dog is Elizabeth Dole coming to suck out his soul . . . There's a Kurt Vonnegut-like cosmic integrity to Barry's work that keeps his crazy characters credible.”
—Kinky Friedman,
The New York Times
 
MORE BIG RAVES FOR BIG TROUBLE
 
“VERY FUNNY . . . SATIRICAL SOCIOLOGY WORTHY OF TOM WOLFE. ‘A.' ”
—Entertainment Weekly
 
“A screwball thriller that reads like a fast-paced screen-play.”
—
USA Today
 
“Following the age-old advice to ‘write what you know,' the Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist has produced a novel involving nuclear bombs, Russian gangsters, giant pythons, tree-dwelling street people, and teenagers . . . Throw in a poison toad and a robber blinded by dark panty hose, and this is about as funny as a book can be.”
—The Christian Science Monitor
 
“Hilarious . . . Dave Barry is not just an amusing social observer; he's a novelist of genuine skill . . . he could become the most important American humorist since Mark Twain.”
—Fort Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel
 
“It'll make you laugh. Out loud. Many, many times.”
—The San Diego Union-Tribune
 
“Let's face it, Florida is almost as funny as New Jersey, and any novel in which the mean guy goes insane from the toxins of a giant toad fills a gentle reader with . . . warmth.”
—Los Angeles Times
 
“A satirical romp through Miami's wacky, criminally infested mean streets . . . a madcap mockery of urban life.”
—Ridley Peterson
 
“Barry has found new life for his comic bag of tricks . . . a ridiculous and often hilarious farce. [
Big Trouble
] is an engaging thriller.”
—Chicago Tribune
“A very funny . . . poison-tipped valentine to Miami.”
—The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
EVEN MORE BIG RAVES FOR BIG TROUBLE
 
“HARD-CHARGING, FAST-FORWARD . . . WILD AND CRAZY . . . and it's certainly funny.”
—The Seattle Times
“Dave Barry may be one of our best contemporary satirists . . . [a] breakneck style . . . pithy and hilarious.”
—The Dallas Morning News
 
“[Like] a Garry Trudeau send-up of hard-boiled crime novels . . . with more twists than the I-95 Miami airport interchange and more pratfalls than a Three Stooges comedy. The novel's quirky players bounce off each other like popcorn in a microwave . . . Dave Barry is indisputably one of the funniest humorists writing today, and his fiction debut will not disappoint his legion of fans.”
—Publishers Weekly
 
“I read it in one sitting . . . It's the kind of book that makes you want to read funny passages out loud to people you don't even know.”
—San Antonio Express-News
 
“Dave Barry's first novel offers all the major literary elements that are so dear to readers of his newspaper columns—dogs with small brains, teenagers with large pants, Miami residents with major ordnance—and much, much more.”
—The Indianapolis Star
 
“A whale of a good time . . . knockout, hook-to-the-jaw humor.”
—The San Diego Union-Tribune
 
“Ridiculous, comic in the extreme . . . wild, smart, and endearing.”
—Rocky Mountain News
 
“Hilarious . . . as tasty as a bowl of fresh popcorn [and] laugh out loud funny.”
—Fort Worth Star-Telegram
TITLES BY DAVE BARRY
NONFICTION
 
The Taming of the Screw
Babies and Other Hazards of Sex
Stay Fit and Healthy Until You're Dead
Claw Your Way to the Top
Bad Habits
Dave Barry's Guide to Marriage and/or Sex
Homes and Other Black Holes
Dave Barry's Greatest Hits
Dave Barry Slept Here
Dave Barry Turns 40
Dave Barry Talks Back
Dave Barry's Only Travel Guide You'll Ever Need
Dave Barry Does Japan
Dave Barry Is Not Making This Up
Dave Barry's Gift Guide to End All Gift Guides
Dave Barry's Complete Guide to Guys
Dave Barry in Cyberspace
Dave Barry's Book of Bad Songs
Dave Barry Is from Mars AND Venus
Dave Barry Turns 50
Dave Barry Hits Below the Beltway
Dave Barry Is Not Taking This Sitting Down
 
FICTION
 
Tricky Business
Big Trouble
This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents either are the product of the author's imagination or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, business establishments, events, or locales is entirely coincidental.
 
TRICKY BUSINESS
 
A Berkley Book / published by arrangement with the author
 
 
Copyright © 2002 by Dave Barry.
 
All rights reserved.
This book, or parts thereof, may not be reproduced in any form without permission.
The scanning, uploading, and distribution of this book via the Internet or via any other means without the permission of the publisher is illegal and punishable by law. Please purchase only authorized electronic editions, and do not participate in or encourage electronic piracy of copyrighted materials. Your support of the author's rights is appreciated.
For information address: The Berkley Publishing Group, a division of Penguin Group (USA) Inc.,
375 Hudson Street, New York, New York 10014.
 
eISBN : 978-1-101-49559-9
BERKLEY®
Berkley Books are published by The Berkley Publishing Group,
a division of Penguin Group (USA) Inc.,
375 Hudson Street, New York, New York 10014.
BERKLEY and the “B” design
are trademarks belonging to Penguin Group (USA) Inc.
 

http://us.penguingroup.com

THIS BOOK IS DEDICATED TO THE PEOPLE OF SOUTH FLORIDA,
FOR BEING SO CONSISTENTLY WEIRD.
ACKNOWLEDGMENTS AND WARNING
I'm going to start with the same warning I put in my first novel,
Big Trouble
, only this time I'll be more explicit and use a larger typeface:
THIS BOOK CONTAINS SOME BAD WORDS.
I stress this because when
Big Trouble
was published, even though it had a warning at the beginning, I got mail from people who were upset about the language. I wrote them back and explained that, yes, it did have some unsavory language, but that was because the story involved some unsavory characters, and that is the way they talk. Characters like these don't say: “I am going to blow your goshdarned head off, you rascal!” They just don't.
So let me stress that:
THIS BOOK CONTAINS SOME BAD WORDS.
Or, to put it another way:
IF YOU DO NOT WISH TO SEE BAD WORDS,
 
PLEASE DO NOT READ THIS BOOK. THANK YOU.
Next, I'd like to thank some people. I'll start with my editor at Putnam, Neil Nyren, who somehow remains eerily calm when the book deadline has long since passed, and the book cover has been printed, and the catalog copy for the book has been written, and yet Neil has not yet received what the publishing industry refers to, technically, as “the book.”
I also thank my suave and urbane agent, Al Hart, who regularly assures me that, not to worry, the book will get done, and, all evidence to the contrary, I
believe
him, because that is how suave and urbane he is.
I thank Judi Smith, my wonderful staff and research department, who is efficient to the point of being prescient, and who never runs from the room, screaming, which is certainly what
I
would do, if I worked for me.
I also thank the people who provided technical guidance when I was writing the book, particularly Jeff Berkowitz, Alan Greer, Patricia Seitz, Ben Stavis, and Rob Stavis. By “provided technical guidance,” I mean they listened thoughtfully to some of my earlier plot concepts, and then they politely explained to me that I was an idiot. I especially thank my friend Gene Weingarten, who is insane but who also gave me a huge shove in the right direction when I really needed it.
I thank Gene Singletary, who took the trouble to get me the phone numbers of a couple of people who I bet would have given me some really useful information if I had called them. Gene is also the finest caterer I have ever met.
I thank my writer friends, particularly Jeff Arch, Paul Levine, and Ridley Pearson, for their moral support.
I thank my two wonderful children, Rob and Sophie, although I forbid Sophie from reading this book, assuming that she learns to read.
Finally, and most of all, I thank my wife, Michelle, a sportswriter who works in the very same room where I work. When two people can be on deadline so many times in the same room and still want to eat dinner together at the end of the day, you know that's love.
BOOK: Tricky Business
3.6Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
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