The Center for Fiction was thrilled to welcome the infinitely funny Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist and New York Times bestselling author Dave Barry for the launch of Swamp Story, a hilarious Florida caper featuring buried treasure, pythons, a repurposed Dora the Explorer costume head, and TikTok videos of swamp monsters. In Barry’s work of masterfully-written mayhem, nothing goes as planned (this is, after all, Florida).
Barry was joined by writer, producer, and DJ Brendan Jay Sullivan (Rivington Was Ours) for a conversation on Swamp Story, comedy, chaos and craft!
By Dave Barry
Published by Simon & Schuster
Jesse Braddock is trapped in a tiny cabin deep in the Everglades with her infant daughter and her ex-boyfriend, a wannabe reality TV star who turned out to be a lot prettier on the outside than on the inside. Broke and desperate for a way out, Jesse stumbles across a long-lost treasure, which could solve all her problems—if she can figure out how to keep it. The problem is, some very bad men are also looking for the treasure, and they know Jesse has it.
Meanwhile, Ken Bortle of Bortle Brothers Bait and Beer has hatched a scheme to lure tourists to his failing store by making viral videos of the “Everglades Melon Monster.” The Monster is in fact an unemployed alcoholic newspaperman named Phil wearing a Dora the Explorer costume head. Incredibly, this plan actually works, inspiring a horde of TikTokers to swarm into the swamp in search of the monster at the same time villains are on the hunt for Jesse’s treasure. Amid this mayhem, a presidential hopeful arrives in the Everglades to start his campaign. Needless to say, it does not go as planned. In fact, nothing in this story goes as planned. This is, after all, Florida.
Dave Barry is the author of more bestsellers than you can count on two hands, including Lessons from Lucy, Dave Barry’s Complete Guide to Guys, Dave Barry Turns Forty, and Dave Barry Is Not Making This Up. A wildly popular syndicated columnist best known for his booger jokes, Barry won the 1988 Pulitzer Prize for commentary. He lives in Miami.
Photo Credit: Michelle Kaufman
Brendan Jay Sullivan
Brendan Jay Sullivan
Brendan Jay Sullivan is the writer, producer and DJ best known for his work with Lady Gaga. He is the author of three books, notably his first memoir Rivington Was Ours: Lady Gaga, the Lower East Side and the Prime of Our Lives. Brendan writes for Esquire, Vice, and Interview in the States and for L’Optimum and L’Officiel in France. He is currently on submissions for his next book, The Secret Ingredient.
Photo Credit: Eleanor Stigle