- Pan Macmillan
- Publication Date:
- 10 February 2001
- Modern & Contemporary
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This book is filled with canned wild game hunts, eco-terrorism, and the cast of characters only Florida has to offer! (Basket Case aside) the Hiaasen books on this list have 2-3 reoccurring characters, but he introduces them every book so there is no real need for a specific order. rsr
I guess I like this book better the second time around. I may have another John D. MacDonald in my life, a writer who I enjoy so much I can re-read again and again with pleasure. Surely this is the case here. Hiaasen is a smartass, but a kind and loving smartass, and he follows JDM as an environmental writer. We need him and we have him and I for one am grateful. There is a lot of busy work going on and within that scope are numerous little dialogue shots, such as Palmer;s inability to get rocknroll line quotes correct, e.g., "happiness is a hot gun" (warm gun, white album, Beatles, 1969). but the good guys win and i foun d but one fault in the book, mainly when Twilly leaves the car with Gash in it, his "lifeles" body was thrown out. The word means he is dead, b ut hed is not dead. As I said, one mistake doesn't ruin the whole.
This was my first Hiaasen book. I bought it in an airport after seeing the intriguing title and started reading it on the flight. I was enjoying it so much I was sad to see the flight end. In fact, I rushed home from the airport to finish the book (which I did in the wee hours of the morning). I have been a Hiaasen fan ever since and have been slowly working my way through his works. Highly recommended.
Another good one, written with Hiaasen's flair for the weird Most ofhis books have the same underlying theme, his disgust with the realestate developers, tourists, and other interlopers in his beloved southFlorida wetlands. In this book, the "hero" is a young man named TwillySpree, who is just about a half bubble off plumb, but his heart is inthe right place. He has a real hatred for people who litter and whenhe's following a purple Range Rover with license plates that read"COJONES" and sees the driver pitch a hamburger box out the window, hestarts to follow him to teach him a lesson. Of course, the guy neverlearns and continues to litter. Spree discovers that the offendinglitterbug is a political lobbyist who works to obtain government moneyto further the cause of real estate development and when Spree realizesthat Mr. COJONES is the moving force behind the planned destruction andrebuilding of a one of the few pristine islands left along the Floridacoast, he hatches a plot to blackmail him into stopping the plannedconstruction of a new bridge to the island which he hopes will thwartthe building plans. In the process, Spree dognaps the lobbyist's pet, alovable black Lab named Boodle, and manages to kidnap the wife, too. Ofcourse, she has had a major awakening and realizes what a scum bucketshe's married to, so Spree winds up with a new woman and a dog of hisown by the end of the book.One of Hiaasen's recurring characters makes a memorable appearance inthis book. Clinton Tyree is the former governor of Florida, a oncecharismatic young man with a winning smile and a deep desire to saveFlorida from the tourists and real estate developers. Of course, thatdoesn't go over politically very well in Florida and Tyree left office,resigned, and then disappeared into the Florida swamps. Now, 20 yearslater, the man is a legend who is rarely seen. He lives on road killbarbecue, has an abandoned car full of classic books hidden away in ajunk yard, has lost an eye somewhere along the way and sports a glasseye that doesn't quite fit. He goes by the name of Skink now, andthere's only one man in the entire state that he trusts and callsfriend, a tall black state trooper named Jim Tile who once served on thegovernor's security detail. I like these two characters and am alwaysdelighted when they reappear in Hiaasen's novels.This is a very fun read and I'd recommend it to anyone looking for achange of pace and something light to laugh your way through. You can'treally call these novels "who-dun-its" because you know who's doing it,but you just want to see how they are going to get away with it. Thebad guys are really deliciously bad, the good guys are always quirky,and the plot is always convoluted, but I've loved every one of thesethat I've read. This one gets a 4.5.
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