Swamp Story: A Novel
Pulitzer Prize–winning and New York Times bestselling author—and actual Florida Man—Dave Barry returns with a “hilariously funny” (Steve Martin) caper full of oddballs and more twists and turns than a snake slithering away from a gator.
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.
Praise for Swamp Story: A Novel
"The funniest thing we've read in years, or maybe just since the last Dave Barry novel." —PEOPLE Magazine
"Before you open this book, ask yourself one important question: How hard do I want to laugh? Because (a) it’s Dave Barry, and (b) it’s Dave Freaking Barry. Of course Swamp Story is about greed, fraud, and viral fame, but there are also big-ass reptiles to keep the sketchiest characters on their toes. Everything that happens in this wild novel could easily happen in South Florida, and probably will. Read it here first. Dave’s version is always the funniest." —Carl Hiaasen
'With Swamp Story, Dave Barry combines two important elements of literature: A swamp and a story."— Steve Martin
“Dave Barry continues his powerful, hypnotic, sway over us readers with this latest, powerful, hypnotic work that is not only hilariously funny, but also powerful and hypnotic.” — ALSO Steve Martin
“I laughed out loud! (to think that Dave would dare publish a book). Yet, this book continues Dave’s streak of humor writing that is the best in the country. Congratulations to Dave and all the lucky readers.” — AGAIN, Steve Martin
“I’m frankly tired of Dave Barry being so funny. Yet, he’s done it again to the benefit and delight of all of us. A hilarious new work.” — STILL Steve Martin
“I haven’t read it yet, but I love it!” — YET AGAIN, Steve Martin
"An authentically rendered distillation of the Sunshine State’s special sensibility. The novel is funny, ridiculous, and even moving—a typical Barry affair....Barry’s crew of misfits is a wild one, but the dual plots he sets in motion are why Swamp Story shines....If you want to read about the state and have fun doing so...read Swamp Story and dive into the Floridian muck. It takes a Florida man to write a proper, ridiculous Florida novel." —Washington Examiner
"If you are looking for a silly, inane, ridiculous, hysterically funny and laugh-out-loud read for this summer, I have a book for you!....one heck of a yarn. Barry is a master of dialogue....If you have ever lived in Florida, wintered in Florida, or even vacationed in Florida, you will appreciate the humor Barry finds in the state. And even if you haven’t been there, you’ll enjoy a good laugh at its expense."— Fredericksburg Free Lance-Star
"Get ready to laugh out loud with Dave Barry’s return to fiction, Swamp Story. It’s a hilarious Sunshine-State caper....The Pulitzer Prize-winner and self-described 'Florida Man' always delivers the laughs, and Swamp Story is no exception." — Parade
"Dave Barry has been writing about Florida his whole life, yet still finds fresh foolishness in his latest novel, Swamp Story, which whips together melon-headed cryptids, invasive pythons, TikTok stardom and preening politicians to hilarious effect." — Tampa Bay Times
"Larger than life hijinks abound in Swamp Story, the zany thriller from Dave Barry....a hilarious caper that could only happen in Florida. Fans of Barry and Carl Hiaasen will be on the edge of their seats—except when they're rolling on the floor." — Shelf Awareness
"Florida’s humorist laureate finds chaos and comedy in the Everglades....Gold bars, pythons, and TikTok videos of swamp monsters add up to a hilarious Florida tale....Barry makes mirth of all this mayhem with his usual aplomb." — Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
"Crime fiction doesn’t come much funnier than this Florida-set caper....Barry conducts the hijinks like a maestro of comic suspense. Carl Hiaasen fans will be in heaven." — Publishers Weekly