What is the summary for Big Trouble?

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Noelle Thompson | High School Teacher | eNotes Employee

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Although there are other books (and movies) called "Big Trouble," I believe the one you are talking about is the debut novel by Dave Barry.

In Miami, lots of things are happening at the same time. An advertising executive (Elliot) drives home with an annoying client. Elliott's son, Matt, plans to use a squirt gun to shoot Jenny in a fun game of "killer." Arthur, Jenny's dad, is barraged by hitmen because of an embezzling scheme. Puggy, the local tramp, makes camp in a tree house.

What follows is a thriller, filled with comedy and set off by a chain of events that changes everyone in its path. Some die, some change jobs, but everyone IS changed. There are even a cobra and a poisonous toad involved! The escapades are as crazy as they sound and quite episodic in nature (see the first response that lists them in order).

In conclusion, any reader should understand that this first novel from Dave Barry is a very funny one and one that put him on the map with fictional writing (prior to this he was known for his non-fiction journalism in the Miami Herald). Dave Barry was a newspaper article writer for The Miami Herald for years, and this is his first attempt at a comedy set in South Florida. He succeeds in writing a very funny tale set in his hometown.

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shmindle's profile pic

shmindle | Student, Grade 11 | (Level 2) Honors

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Big Trouble is a novel by Dave Barry that takes place in Miami. A high schooler named Matt is playing a game that involves "killing" a girl named Jenny with a squirtgun. At that time, two hitmen are schedule to show up to kill Jenny's father, Arthur, who's been committing fraud. Matt shows up at Jenny's house at the same time as the hitmen, and Jenny's father is spared. The housemaid, Nina, in this process is rescued by a man named Puggy and the two fall in love. Matt's father, who is called to the scene, falls in love with Jenny's mother Anna, while Matt falls in love with Jenny. Matt tries this process of "killing" Jenny again but is interrupted by a man who thinks he is actually murdering her. Arthur goes to a bar and buys a bomb, which two criminals steal. They demand to know where Arthur lives. After arriving, Matt, Jenny and a few others are tied up by the criminals, but Nina unties them. Matt manages to board the airplane, which the criminals have brought the bomb on, but fails to get the bomb. In the end, it is one the of the criminals who turns his back on his partner and tosses the bomb out the window, hurting no one.

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