By People Staff
November 11, 2002 12:00 PM

By Dave Barry

Get ready to set sail on a ship of fools only Dave Barry could skipper—a floating casino named the Extravaganza of the Seas, inhabited by a motley mix of gangsters, fun-loving seniors, a wedding band named Johnny and the Contusions, and an array of other misfits, all hoping to turn their lives around and finally beat the house. Except this night’s voyage promises to be rougher than usual, as a storm roils the waters and a Mob war breaks out during a rendezvous with drug runners.

Barry, the Pulitzer Prize-winning humor columnist, proves again that his penchant for punchy prose and comic observations is perfectly suited to fiction. Occasionally the action stalls, when he accidentally reverts to a style that sounds as if he’s back writing a column. However, the fast pace and fun easily outweigh such minor mechanical issues. Even if you don’t like to laugh, buy it for Barry’s foolproof method of testing the freshness of cruise-ship buffets.

Bottom Line: Bet on it