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From Publishers Weekly
Hiaasen's signature mix of hilariously over-the-top villains, lovable innocents and righteous indignation at what mankind has done to his beloved Florida wilderness is all present in riotous abundance in his latest. It begins with attractive heiress Joey Perrone being tossed overboard from a cruise ship by her larcenous husband, Chaz—not for her money, which she has had the good sense to keep well away from him, but because he fears she is onto his crooked dealings with a ruthless tycoon who is poisoning the Everglades. But instead of drowning as she's supposed to, Joey stays afloat until she is rescued by moody ex-cop Mick Stranahan, a loner who has also struck out in the marriage department. Then the two together, with the unwitting aid of a suspicious cop who can't pin the attempted murder on Chaz, hatch a sadistic plot to scare that "maggot" out of what little wit he has. Even Tool, a hulking brute sent by the tycoon to keep an eye on Chaz, eventually turns against him, and much of the fun is in watching the deplorable Chaz flounder further and further in the murk, both literally and figuratively (Chaz's job, as the world's unlikeliest marine biologist, involves falsifying water pollution levels for the tycoon). Hiaasen's books are so enjoyable it's always a sad moment when they end. In this case, however, sadness is mixed with puzzlement because the book seems to end in mid-scene, with Chaz in trouble again—but is it terminal? We thought at first there were some pages missing, but Knopf says that was the ending Hiaasen intended. Odd.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
*Starred Review* What do you get when you cross a sleazy marine biologist, a corrupt tycoon with a bad comb-over, and a voluptuous wife hell-bent on revenge? Another delirious romp through the swamps of South Florida from irrepressible Miami Herald columnist Carl Hiaasen. Chaz Perrone was sure he'd seen the last of his wife when he pushed her over the balcony of the Sun Duchess cruise ship off the coast of Florida. But Joey Perrone, a former championship swimmer, survived the fall and clung to a bale of Jamaican hashish long enough to be rescued by retired cop Mick Stranahan. Joey wants to know why her husband wanted her dead (he feared she was onto his scheme of doctoring Florida Everglades water samples at the behest of ruthless agribusiness tycoon Red Hammernut). Then, with Stranahan's help, she wants to drive him crazy. No reprobate escapes the satirical eye of Hiaasen, who writes like the love child of Hunter S. Thompson and Evelyn Waugh. His trademark cast of skewed characters includes old favorites like Skink and new arrival, Tool, a hirsute, painkiller-addicted thug with a bullet lodged in a decidedly cheeky place. Like Hiaasen's nine previous novels, this one's a corker, chock-full of belly laughs and blistering truths. Allison Block
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
But Joey is a championship swimmer and manages to hang onto a bale of marijuana and then get rescued by loner and ex-cop Mick Stranahan. Instead of coming forward to the cops, Joey decides to pay Chaz back. What follows is a crazy, funny blackmail campaign against the lazy Chaz.
Chaz gets to be babysat by Red Hammernut's muscle man, Tool. As Chaz gest more and more frenzied Tool grows a conscience.
I loved this book and all the characters but especially Tool. Hiaasen does a great job of a tongue-in-cheek mystery surrounded by environmental concerns in the Everglades.
The central idea around which the plot revolves and the use of dialogue, are both original and highly refreshing. But it's the author's totally slipshod attention to plausibility and detail in unfolding this plot, plus his evident lack of any concern about having created nasty characters who are not even remotely believable, that I object to. The author's ability is clearly there for all to see. What I simply cannot understand is why he uses his considerable talent to write a novel which, in the end, can at best only really aspire to reach the disappointingly mediocre level of a 'farce'.
Hiaasen has a way of mixing religious nuts, villians, humor, underlying serious situations, and truth all in one big happy mess of a good time. He might be a lot of things, but boring is not one of them.
The characters: Chaz--the scum-bag husband who tosses his wife overboard. Joey--the tossed overboard wife. Mick Stranahan--the ex-cop who rescues the wife---no I'm not giving anything away. Throw in some Everglades polluters and corrupt politicians and you've got the recipe for a great funny read. The only reason I'm not giving this a full five stars is that it took me a while to get into. The writing style takes about then pages to get used to and Hiassen has to warm you up first, which is understandable. Okay, that's fine, but I wished it had whisked along a bit faster.
This is not the first Hiassen novel I've read, but the first I've reviewed. I did like his SICK PUPPY and TOURIST SEASON better, but unlike other author who you need to be introduced to before getting into they style, you can start with any Hiassen book. Would also very highly recommend the novels ANOTHER ROADSIDE ATTRACTION and the wonderful and witty DOUBLE WHAMMY. Also, if you want to check out Christopher Moore's books, those are along the same line as Hiassen's. Either way you cut it, you can't lose.
Most recent customer reviews
If you haven't read Carl Hiaasen you must. If you care about the environment and have a sense of humour, you will love it.Published 19 days ago by Joanne Benoit
I have only recently discovered this author and quite enjoy his work. The hard-hitting detective with a gorgeous girl by his side is pitted against a villain who is dangerous but... Read morePublished 14 months ago by p.d. Marshall
Buckle up and hold on for a zany ride of murder and mayhem punctuated by humidity and eco-politics. If you like Janet Evanovich's Stephanie Plum series, you'll be on board for... Read morePublished 19 months ago by Cee Ess
Weighing my love of Christopher Moore and Tim Dorsey, Amazon recommended Carl Hiaasen to me. "Skinny Dip" was the first book I read by him, and I definitely enjoyed it. Read morePublished on Dec 14 2011 by Gen
Chaz Perrrone is one big loser. A man who never would have attained his doctorate without the help of family connections. Read morePublished on Aug. 4 2005 by Christy T. French
This is my first Cal Hiaasen book. I'm glad I read SKINNY DIP. It is Wacky with a capital W. Joey Perrone is murdered by her sleazy marine biologist Chaz on their second... Read morePublished on June 27 2005 by Sahcno Mahlay