Rated of 5
Not only is this book funny, it's beleivable. The idea of arms smuggling, nuclear weapons, FBI agents, beer, snakes, toads, Russians, Gzrkjistanis, New Jerseyans, Ad Executives, Journalists, Housewives, Executives, Embezzlers, Low-Life Bums, High-Life Bums, Homeless Guys, Teenagers and goats all interacting is far-fetched and highly unlikely in truth, and yet the story is coherent enough and well-written enough that it is beleivable. Every character is clearly introduced, unlike in most novels, by the narrator, who is an omniscient third person. Each is allowed their own dramatic dialogue entrance before this intro, but all are fleshed out independently of the story. This definitely takes away a buttload of the confusion, and also adds to the identity and fullness of the book. Barry's voice is ever-present, as anyone who has read his columns will recognize, and he has quite a bit of social commentary on the side, on subjects as far-ranging as airport security and talk radio.
A few cons, though: the FBI, police and fighter jet jargon is a little bit too jargonny, as are discussions of guns and missiles. It's as if--and I say this with all due respect--Dave is trying to prove to us how much he knows about it. Also, as a teenager, I can say his views of what we do for entertainment are a little askew, although the drama they add to the story is well worth it, so I wouldn't have it any other way. Not to mention I probably couldn't have it any other way, considering there's just about no other literary way to get that dialogue and plot theme in.
In all, five stars, and as many thumbs up.