Big Trouble Book Summary and Study Guide

Detailed plot synopsis reviews of Big Trouble

Eliot Arnold is a mild-mannered ad-man and former reporter living in Miami. His business is going under and his teenage son Matt thinks he is a "dork."
Click here to see the rest of this review

One night, Eliot is called to the Cocoa Beach home of business executive Arthur Herk, where his son has been in a fight with Herk's wife because he arrived at the house intending to play-out a game called "Killer," which involves stalking a target with a squirt-gun. Matt's target is Jenny, Herk's stepdaughter and object of Matt's puppy-love affections. Meeting Herk's wife, Eliot immediately falls in love, but everyone is distracted by the fact that someone has just fired a rifle through Herk's living-room window, which is what led to the melee between Matt and Herk's wife.

What nobody knows is that Herk's employer, Penultimate, Inc., a Miami-based construction company and anti-Castro Cuban Mafia front, have discovered that he is skimming bribe-money and import a pair of hitmen named Henry and Leonard to kill him.

When Henry and Leonard fire into his living-room, Herk rushes to the Jolly Jackal, a seedy bar that is the cover for a Russian weapons-dealing operation, the suppliers for Penultimate's war on Castro. Intending to go to the feds for protection, Herk buys a working nuclear bomb, but is intercepted leaving the bar by a pair of small-time losers named Snake and Eddie, who believe him to be drug kingpin.
Returning to Herk's house, Snake and Eddie rob him, kidnap Jenny, and proceed to the airport, where they intend to go to the Bahamas.

The book now becomes a multi-player race, as Eliot, Mrs. Herk, a pair of violent FBI agents, and a couple of Miami cops all converge on the airport, where Snake and Eddie have already activated the bomb...
The review of this Book prepared by James Craver

Chapter Analysis of Big Trouble

Click on a plot link to find similar books!

Plot & Themes

Composition of Book descript. of violence and chases 20%Planning/preparing, gather info, debate puzzles/motives 20%Feelings, relationships, character bio/development 20%How society works & physical descript. (people, objects, places) 40% Tone of story    -   very humorous Time/era of story:    -   1980's-1999 Kid or adult book?    -   Adult or Young Adult Book The crook is....    -   criminals killing each other Crime Thriller    -   Yes Crime plotlets:    -   escape/rescue from kidnappers Is MAIN CHARACTER an EVIL criminal?    -   Yes General Crime (including known murderer)    -   Yes Who's the criminal enemy here?    -   evil corporation/rich guy

Main Character

Gender    -   Male Profession/status:    -   small businessman Age:    -   40's-50's Ethnicity/Race    -   White/American


Air?    -   Yes Air:    -   passenger plane    -   skyjacking City?    -   Yes City:    -   Miami Misc setting    -   fancy mansion

Writing Style

Accounts of torture and death?    -   moderately detailed references to deaths Explicit sex in book?    -   Yes What kind of sex:    -   vague references    -   descript of kissing Unusual forms of death    -   dropped from large heights    -   exploded into bits Unusual form of death?    -   Yes Amount of dialog    -   significantly more descript than dialog

Books with storylines, themes & endings like Big Trouble

Dave Barry Books Note: the views expressed here are only those of the reviewer(s).
2 Ways to Search!

Our Chief Librarian