Hey! Randy

Nut Town

Posted by heyrandy on July 12, 2013

Insane City, Dave Barry, 2013

Where do you go to find Burmese pythons, billionaires, illegal refugees, and the ultra-trendy in an atmosphere alive with ethnic tensions? If you said Miami, Florida, you are right. Welcome to the crazy place. I forgot to mention the orangutan.

Barry, a former columnist for the Miami Herald, writes about all this to not only give a view of the city that the tourist promoters do not like but to raise the very important questions of immigration policy, drug laws, and the influence money has in politics.

The story concerns Seth, an indolent, under achieving only child of elderly Jewish parents, and his fiancee Tina, the eldest of two daughters of billionaire Mike Clark. Tina is everything Seth is not. A hard-driving, take-no-prisoners graduate of Harvard Law School. Seth is a graduate of a state school “with a solid B average” in marketing. He writes pseudo tweets for feminine care products. She does “important legal work” on behalf of groups that advocate for the “undocumented” immigrants. She has never met any of the people for whom she files legal briefs.

Secondary themes running through the book are the value of college educations, obsession with being part of the elite within the elite, vanity, and hypocrisy.

The language of the book is vulgar. There are numerous sexual references. But if you can get through all that, the book addresses serious issues in the style that Barry is famous for: truth is funny enough.

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