Insane City, the latest novel by Dave Barry. And it is funny. It makes me giggle and snort out loud as I read it. That in turn makes people look at me funny. This is humor columnist Dave Barry's third novel. In the past when I recommended Barry's novels I would say they are like Carl Hiaasen's novels but funnier (and Hiaasen's books are pretty funny too).
But I am finding that even though I am laughing a lot I am not enjoying this book as much as I expected. Maybe his formula is getting old. It is the same formula: South Florida, oddball characters, implausible plot, intoxication and illegal activity. But that is the same formula as Hiaasen, Elmore Leonard and Tim Dorsey. Dave Barry's first novel Big Trouble was one of the funniest books I have ever read. His second novel, Tricky Business was good too. Maybe it is that the jokes are old. Or maybe I am getting old and crotchety.
I guess what I am saying is that I am enjoying this book and it is making me laugh. It is just not as good as I had hoped it would be. I think what it is missing is the element of surprise. Since I know it will be wacky and since I know that there will be characters and events that come completely out of left field, I am not surprised when they do. I bet if this was the first Dave Barry novel I'd read, I would love it a lot more.
So if you've never read a Dave Barry Novel and want a good laugh do yourself a favor and pick one up. You will laugh. And if you've read his others, this is more of the same.