Book review: ‘Lunatics’

Read a book review of Lunatics by Dave Barry and Alan Zweibel

A novel by Dave Barry and Alan Zweibel, available on Amazon

Dave Barry and Alan Zweibel’s novel Lunatics is the story of two men who do not get along. Phillip Horkman, whose first-person chapters were written by Zweibel, seems like a nice enough guy, sort of a less-religious Ned Flanders. Jeffrey Peckerman, whose character was written by Barry, is pretty much the world’s biggest asshole from the Dennis Leary song of the same name. An ill-fated moment during a girls soccer match launches Horkman and Peckerman into an escalating series of events involving terrorism, nudists, war, Chuck E. Cheese, piracy, famine, international diplomacy, police groins, revolution, presidential politics and Charo.

Lunatics is silly and fun and satirizes many of the institutions responsible for the world’s problems today. Zweibel and Barry wrote the book from 1,500 miles apart, which I wrote about in this Alan Zweibel interview, and you can sense how much fun these two humor writers had taking two mundane men into a high-stakes game of cat-and-mouse.

Lunatics is being turned into a movie, with Steve Carell attached to produce and star. How this movie gets made for less than $850 million remains a mystery. Zweibel told me that the part of Peckerman has not been cast, and if I might make a suggestion, how about Stephen Colbert? Maybe it’s because Carell and Colbert emerged publicly on The Daily Show together, leaving them forever intertwined, but Colbert’s patented self-centered asshole persona was how I pictured Peckerman when I read this book. I sincerely hope they let Charo play Charo.

Barry and Zweibel’s book tour starts today.


Author: Joe Donatelli

Joe Donatelli is a writer in Los Angeles. He publishes The Humor Columnist.