Friday, February 10, 2012

Lunatics - Dave Barry and Alan Zweibel (Audio)

Just in the last few months, Penguin Audio has started sending me audios for review.  Some are exactly what I need, and others are not, but a steady stream of new audios is the kind of thing that makes my brain and heart buzz with happiness.   I will listen to almost anything.  Penguin Audio rocks.

So, to give myself a little break in between longish audio projects, I grabbed this title, which was only 6 discs long.  I know virtually nothing about the authors, except that I hear the occasional person exclaim the wonders of Dave Barry like he is the biggest thing that has ever happen to journalism, comedy and low-flow toilets.  Apparently he has even won a Pulitzer.  After Googling Zweibel, it seems he is a Thurber prize-winner for American Humor.  Who knew?  

I really REALLY had no idea what I was in for.  This was the most insane audio experience I have ever had.  I don't know for sure if that is good or bad.

Synopsis:  Phillip Horkman is a happy family man who runs a small pet store called The Wine Shop, and officiates kids' soccer on the weekend.  Jeffrey Peckerman is a forensic plumber with the attitude that the whole world is full of idiots, except for him.  Their fates collide the day that Phillip called Jeffrey's daughter offside in an important soccer tournament.  From there, the two go at each other, head to head, which catapults them on an adventure that includes:

A kidnapped Lemur
Low-speed car chases
Bomb threats on the George Washington bridge
Hijacking a clothing-optional cruise ship
A terrorist dressed up as Chuck E. Cheese
Homicidal bears
A nun on hiatus
A rebellion against Fidel Castro
Lots of diarrhea
Feeding a starving nation with bananas
Pirates from Somalia
Peacekeeping in the Middle East and in China 
Peeing on Sarah Palin
Donald Trump

My thoughts:  And people, that is only the tip of the iceberg.  Because I was listening and not reading, I have no notes, so this is just what I can recall off the top of my head.  

At first, I was belly-laughing and shaking my head.  What the hell? But a little bit of this brand of goofy, juvenile humor goes a long way.  After the second disc, I had to consume it in small doses.  It honestly felt like two (funny) guys getting drunk and brainstorming the most bizarre adventure that could ever possibly occur.  And yes, they had to have been drunk because the language is FOUL.  In other words, don't listen to this around small ears.  

Also be aware that all ethnicities, skin colors, sexual orientations, sizes, and genders are thrown under the bus.  If you are particularly offended by jokes about homosexuals, the overweight, or the simple-minded, look elsewhere.

On the other hand, if you are extremely open-minded and are looking for something to lighten your load, give it a go.  Why not?  You really haven't "seen it all" until you experience this.  

A few words about the audio production:  The authors narrate this little beauty themselves.  Which I guess is a good thing because they and only they can communicate the spirit in which it was originally intended.

3 out of 5 stars       


Peppermint Ph.D. said...

What teases me about this is the fact that these two guys' conflict with one another results from an offsides call in a soccer tournament. Oh, I have so been there...and it made me snort to read the list of consequences from said call ;) I may have to give this one a try for that reason only...when and if I'm ever able to listen to anything alone again ;)

bermudaonion said...

I've read some of Dave Barry's work and enjoyed it, but this sounds like it might be a little too bizarre for me.

Beth(bookaholicmom) said...

I would love to hear what they say about Donald Trump! For some reason that man drives me crazy!

rhapsodyinbooks said...

I love Dave Barry, and am always up for juvenile humor!

Jenny said...

Haha they probably DID get drunk and think up all those bizarre situations. ;) Sounds funny and interesting for sure!

Zibilee said...

Peeing of Sarah Palin? Oh my. This one does sound bizarre, and though I normally like Dave Barry, and think he's a little like Carl Hiassien on speed, I am not sure about this one. I think this one might be a little too much for me!

Melissa (Avid Reader) said...

Review audios from Penguin, that's awesome!

Jenners said...

Well, it is Dave Barry!

And you should be receiving audios to review -- you are the queen of audibooks and have turned so many readers onto them (including me).

Julie P. said...

Wow! This does sound quite unique....

Kathleen said...

I could probably listen to this in small doses.

Trisha said...

Your description of Dave Barry is perfect!!!! :)

Heidenkind said...

I've heard of Dave Barry but not Zweibel. There was a TV show based on Barry's columns for a while. I don't remember anything about it except that the theme music was "You May Be Right" by Billie Joel.

Unknown said...

I think Dave Barry is hilarious but his fiction is a little too insane and zany for me. I tend to prefer his column and his non-fiction book!

Lunatic sure sounds nutty!

SuziQoregon said...

I enjoy Dave Barry's columns and his humor in general in small doses. I once listened to an audio of one of his books and came to the conclusion that small doses works better for me than full books.

The exception has been the Peter and the Starcatchers series he co-wrote with Ridley Pearson. Those I enjoyed.