Literature: Insane City

Insane City is a 2013 novel by Dave Barry, his first solo novel since Tricky Business.

Seth is a low level worker who makes a living tweeting about douche, but he's somehow caught the eye of Tina, a rich and outspoken woman who has agreed to marry him. They are having their wedding in Miami, and all Seth has to do is show up in his tuxedo, with the ring. Simple, right?

Not quite. Over the course of 3 days, he has to deal with missing luggage, a stripper and her large boyfriend demanding money, a family of Haitian refugees, a large and aggressive Orangutan, the Russian mafia, and accidentally distributed pot brownies.

In other words, your typical Barry novel.


This work contains examples of:

  • Chronic Hero Syndrome: Seth, despite his efforts to walk away from the situation.
  • Citizenship Marriage: How the Haitians stay in America in the end.
  • Everybody Must Get Stoned: Seth's parents bring pot brownies to the wedding, which end up distributed among the guests.
  • Fiction 500: The Clarks, and every member of the Group of Eleven and the Group of Six.
  • Fluffy Tamer: Duane, who is known throughout the region as the guy to call when you need a snake wrangled. His own snake, a 17-foot albino Burmese python, is named Blossom.
  • Higher Understanding Through Drugs: Discussed. Wendell Corliss gets stoned, and realizes he's worked all his life for money he never gets to enjoy because he's working all the time. When he asks if this is higher understanding, Marty tells him no, he's just realizing something that's blindly obvious.
  • Hooker with a Heart of Gold: La Dawne, who genuinely cares for the Haitian family and even offers to relieve Seth of his debt if he continues harboring them.
  • Rich Idiot with No Day Job: Meghan. At least until the end.
  • Runaway Groom: Seth in the end.
  • White and Grey Morality: Unlike Barry's first two novels, this one has no actual villains. Even Mike Clark just wants to turn the Haitians in to INS because he doesn't want his daughter's wedding to be ruined.