Antoni, Brian 1959-

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Antoni, Brian 1959-


Born August 20, 1959, in Freeport, Bahamas; son of Robert Odillo (a plastic surgeon) and Lynette (in business) Antoni. Education: Emory University, B.A., 1981; Georgetown University, J.D., 1984; University of Salzburg, Diploma in Advanced International Law, 1985.


Home—Miami Beach, FL. Office—451 Broome St. 9W, New York, NY 10013. Agent—Heather Schroder, International Creative Management, 40 West 57th St., New York, NY 10019.


Attorney at law in Miami, FL, 1995—. Writer and real estate developer.


Florida Bar Association, Miami Beach Art Basel.


Paradise Overdose: A Novel, Simon & Schuster (New York, NY), 1994.

(With Tananarive Due, James W. Hall, Les Standiford, Elmore Leonard, Dave Barry, Edna Buchanan, Paul Levine, John Dufresne, Vicki Hendricks, Carolina Hospital, and Evelyn Mayerson) Naked Came the Manatee, edited by Carl Hiaasen, Putnam (New York, NY), 1997.

South Beach: The Novel, Black Cat (New York, NY), 2008.

Contributor to periodicals, including Islands Magazine.


Paradise Overdose: A Novel, Antoni's first book, tells the story of two men from the Bahamas—Chris (rich and white) and Shark (poor and black)—and the struggles they have with their lives. Both men are drug addicts, but while Chris meets Robin, an American performance artist with inoperable cancer and decides to try to change his life, Shark attracts the attention of a dangerous Colombian drug cartel and places all their lives in danger. "The Bahamian milieu proves more interesting than any of the novel's characters," declared a Publishers Weekly reviewer, "although Antoni seems preoccupied with his self-impressed protagonist." "Antoni," wrote Donna Seaman in her Booklist review, "achieves the narrative equivalent of a coke frenzy in this intelligent and spicy tale of hedonism, greed, [and] sorrow."

Antoni was also a participating writer in the serial novel Naked Came the Manatee, to which he contributed along with twelve other Florida writers. "The book began … as thirteen weekly installments in the Miami Herald Sunday ‘Tropic’ magazine," explained Tom Corcoran in BookPage. "Cribbing its title from 1969's Naked Came the Stranger, a ‘bad’ sex novel created by twenty journalists under a single pseudonym, Naked Came the Manatee became the talk of Miami." The project was launched by humorist Dave Barry and was handed off to the other writers, who "could add or subtract characters and plot twists," stated James T. Black, writing in Southern Living. "The main character, though, a manatee named Booger, always remained." "Think about that," declared Catten Ely in Suite 101. "You get this piece of a book and have one week to make your own addition. There was no preconceived plot; that the plot isn't brilliant is no surprise. I'm impressed with the thing even being produced at all." "If you're looking for character development, sorry. There are too many of 'em," Ely continued. "But to say reading it is a waste of time? That it's a rotten book? Absolutely not." "As a collective effort," wrote Bruce Von Steirs in BVS Review, "it proves that a group of writers can get together and put forth something entertaining and enjoyable."

In 2008, Antoni published his first solo novel since Paradise Overdose. Entitled South Beach: The Novel, it tells the story of the South Florida community during its great revival in the late 1980s and 1990s. "Antoni has been observing South Florida, his home for the past twenty years, with a frequently bemused eye," wrote Jonathan Durbin on the Web site, and Antoni put all the results of his observations in the novel. "Its ensemble cast includes the hunky Gabriel Tucker," explained Steven Gaines in Radar, "who inherits the [apartment building the Venus de Milo Arms] along with its family of kooky tenants; Miss Levy, an elderly Holocaust survivor who is secretly a bookie; Marina, a performance artist who pulls a ribbon from her vagina inscribed with the names of people who died of AIDS on South Beach; and Jesus, a young Cuban refugee who washes up on Ocean Drive on a raft and becomes a model and paramour of a famous Italian designer." "All the major characters," opined Chauncey Mabe on PopMatters, "are beautiful, talented, incredibly lucky, and despite their bad habits, good at heart. Through various reversals and conflicts, they make us care about them as they wend toward a fairytale ending." "Two of the art happenings that Marina stages in an abandoned swimming pool behind the Venus are very memorable, as are scenes of sexual humiliation involving house paint and chocolate," wrote Henry Alford in the New York Times Book Review. "You can't fault this author for not going far enough—this is, after all, a book in which the prize awarded at one restaurant's monthly raffle is the removal of a concentration camp tattoo." In South Beach, concluded Donna Seaman in Booklist, Antoni concocts "a love letter to a crazy place and a sweet tale of friendship, succor, and love."

Brian Antoni told CA: "I am a descendant of the second-oldest family in the Caribbean. Mine is a history of an old and wealthy Caribbean dynasty whose multiethnic roots stretch from the southernmost island of Trinidad to the northernmost island, Grand Bahama. Drawn to the Caribbean for its climate, resources, and easy way of life, my family tree is wrought with French Creole sugar plantation owners, pioneers, cowboys, and cutting-edge creative artists and thinkers.

"I have a law degree from Georgetown University and an international law degree from Salzburg University. I have practiced law all over the world and am a member of the Florida Bar Association. I am currently completing a master's degree in creative writing and recently earned a degree in managing nonprofit organizations. I have traveled the world, backpacking through India and China, riding the Trans-Siberian railroad through Russia, and getting lost among the hippie travelers on the Bangkok-to-Bali route.

"I currently split my time between New York and Miami's South Beach, where I—following my family's tradition—was one of the pioneering settlers, and where I have bought and renovated run-down Art Deco buildings. In addition to writing, I spend my free time collecting furniture and scouring thrift shops for treasures. I have also done freelance writing, which includes an article in which I went undercover as a doorman at South Beach's hippest clubs and another in which I traveled illegally to Havana. I have also covered the International Conch Cracking contest in Grand Bahama for Islands magazine."



Booklist, October 15, 1994, Donna Seaman, review of Paradise Overdose: A Novel, p. 399; February 15, 2008, Donna Seaman, review of South Beach: The Novel, p. 36.

Library Journal, October 1, 1994, Heather Blenkinsopp, review of Paradise Overdose, p. 111.

New York Post, March 6, 2008, "South Beach Laid Bare."

New York Times Book Review, March 9, 2008, Henry Alford, review of South Beach.

Publishers Weekly, October 3, 1994, review of Paradise Overdose, p. 52; October 15, 2007, review of South Beach, p. 37.

Southern Living, May, 1997, James T. Black, review of Naked Came the Manatee.

WWD, March 4, 2008, "Beach Reading," p. 16.


BookPage, (September 2, 2008), Tom Corcoran, review of Naked Came the Manatee.

Brian Antoni Home Page, (September 2, 2008).

BVS Reviews, (September 2, 2008), Bruce Von Stiers, "Group Mug Shot."

Miami Dish, (September 2, 2008), "Brian Antoni Seen Eating … Plum Pudding, Crème Brûlée, and a Grilled Cheese and Chocolate Sandwich."

Miami New Times, (September 2, 2008), review of South Beach., (September 2, 2008), Jonathan Durbin, "Beautiful People 2008: Brian Antoni."

PopMatters, (September 2, 2008), Chauncey Mabe, review of South Beach.

Radar, (September 2, 2008), Steven Gaines, "Welcome to Miami: Steven Gaines Interviews Novelist Brian Antoni on Sex, Scandal, and South Beach—America's Other Sin City."

Suite 101, (September 2, 2008), Catten Ely, review of Naked Came the Manatee.