Lunatics by Dave Barry & Alan Zweibel

Title: Lunatics
Authors: Dave Barry & Alan Zweibel
Narrator: Dave Barry & Alan Zweibel with Mark Thompson, Sean Kenis, and Orlagh Cassidy
Series: N/A
Publisher: Penguin Audio
Release Date: 1/10/2012
Length: 7 hours, 3 minutes
Format: Unabridged Audio CDs
Genres: Fiction, Humor
Challenges: 2012 Audiobook Challenges
Source: Publisher (thank you!)
Purchase: Audio CD | Digital Audiobook
Rating: ★★★★☆

Philip Horkman is a happy man – the owner of a pet store called The Wine Shop, and on Sundays a referee for kids’ soccer. Jeffrey Peckerman is the sole sane person in a world filled with goddamned jerks and morons, and he’s having a really bad day. The two of them are about to collide in a swiftly escalating series of events that will send them running for their lives, pursued by the police, soldiers, terrorists, subversives, bears, and a man dressed as Chuck E. Cheese.

I was pretty excited to get to this audiobook because I think after some of the stuff I’ve been listening to, I needed a laugh. I got quite a few from this one too. I’ll go ahead and admit I’ve never read anything by Dave Barry or Alan Zweibel. I don’t really know what their solo work is like, but I do know that their joint work is hilarious. It’s ridiculous and totally crude, but it had me laughing my way to work and back home.

The plot to this book is totally ridiculous and unbelievable, but that’s kind of what makes it so funny. The way each small decision spirals the two characters into some new outrageous adventure really makes this book interesting and entertaining. Eventually, I stopped being surprised and just enjoyed the next crazy thing they would come up with. So if you’re into ridiculous, insane shenanigans that will make you laugh, you’ll like this.

What makes it all better is that Horkman and Peckerman are so different. Horckman is an open-minded, respectable family man who’s well-informed and sympathetic to the needs of others. Packerman, on the other hand, is a foul-mouthed hothead who’s constantly throwing out racial slurs and being completely inappropriate. I found myself wondering on numerous occassions how he found someone willing to marry him and have children with him. Without spoiling things, let me just say the way things worked out for him in the end was very appropriate. Anyway, I enjoyed the characters for what they were and really enjoyed their banter. They were hilarious.

One thing I did notice was how well Dave and Alan write together. I suppose it’s not as difficult when each is writing from another character’s perspective, but even when they were writing dialogue within their own chapters, they always got the other character right. It never felt like two people wrote this book, even though I knew they did going in. I feel like I have to give them props for that.

Normally, I’m wary of author narrators. They’re never very good (except for Neil Gaimon, who rocks). But Dave and Alan did such a great job narrating this. They were hilarious. The delivery was perfect. And the audiobook itself was wonderfully produced. The news reports really came to life in this audiobook with the new music in the back ground and different voice actors dropping in to narrate the voices of the newscasters. It was perfect. In fact, I would urge you to listen to this rather than read it. I don’t think it would have been half as funny to me had I been reading it in print. This is definitely one of those books that’s better on audio.

I recommend this book to anyone who loves humor and can handle strong language and some gross situations. If you enjoy watching shows like The Daily Show, you’ll appreciate a lot of what happens in this book. This is your book if you need some laughs.

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    Some of the books reviewed on this blog were sent to me by the author or publisher for review. I did not receive any payment in exchange for the review nor was I obligated to write a positive one. All opinions expressed here are entirely my own and may not necessarily agree with those of the author, the book's publisher and publicist or the readers of these reviews. This disclosure is in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255, Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.
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