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Skinny Dip [Abridged, Audiobook] [Audio Cassette]

Carl Hiaasen , Barry Bostwick
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (37 customer reviews)

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Book Description

July 13 2004
Chaz Perrone might be the only marine scientist in the world who doesn’t know which way the Gulf Stream runs. He might also be the only one who went into biology just to make a killing, and now he’s found a way–doctoring water samples so that a ruthless agribusiness tycoon can continue illegally dumping fertilizer into the endangered Everglades. When Chaz suspects that his wife, Joey, has figured out his scam, he pushes her overboard from a cruise liner into the night-dark Atlantic. Unfortunately for Chaz, his wife doesn’t die in the fall.

Clinging blindly to a bale of Jamaican pot, Joey Perrone is plucked from the ocean by former cop and current loner Mick Stranahan. Instead of rushing to the police and reporting her husband’s crime, Joey decides to stay dead and (with Mick’s help) screw with Chaz until he screws himself.

As Joey haunts and taunts her homicidal husband, as Chaz’s cold-blooded cohorts in pollution grow uneasy about his ineptitude and increasingly erratic behavior, as Mick Stranahan discovers that six failed marriages and years of island solitude haven’t killed the reckless romantic in him, we’re taken on a hilarious, full-throttle, pure Hiaasen ride through the warped politics and mayhem of the human environment, and the human heart.


From the Hardcover edition.

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Product Description

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.

From Booklist

*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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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Here's the deal . . . Sept. 2 2005
Format:Paperback
Normally one to stick with some national bestseller or cult classic such as "Da Vinci Code" or "Katzenjammer" (McCrae), I was recommend this book by a friend. Thank goodness it wasn't a bad recommendation. I loved it from cover to cover. Fans of Hiassen's clever wit and descriptive storytelling will find Skinny Dip a quick read, but the overall book lacks some depth. The plot progression is a bit predictable and the characters aren't as interesting as in other Hiassen novels. As always with Hiaasen, underneath the laughs here are a lot of anger and sadness. He makes the reader uneasy about the fate of our rapidly disappearing wilderness. His usual culprits are land developers, corrupt politicians and judges, carpetbaggers, and sometimes, promoters and tourists (e.g., Tourist Season). This time, he skewers as corrupted by corporate greed the scientific establishment that supposedly is trying to save what little is left of the Everglades. Let's hope his books awaken some sense of urgency or shame in the powers that be. On the other hand, let's not hold our breaths. Also, try the novels SKIN TIGHT (another great Hiaasen work), KATZENJAMMER (McCrae at his best), and the rapid-fire funny David Sedaris book, NAKED. All are great and worth every cent. You can't go wrong with any of these. I also plan to read ALL of Hiassen's works!
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4.0 out of 5 stars Hiaasen's best April 29 2012
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Charles "Chaz" Perrone is a biologist who doesn't know anything. He is testing water samples in the Everglades where he is deathly afraid of the wildlife. He is running a profitable pollution scam for Red Hammernut, a mogul in the agriculture business. Chaz fears that his wife Joey may be onto his little scam and decides to do away with her by heaving her overboard on a cruise.

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.
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5.0 out of 5 stars The low-down on a very funny read Feb. 18 2005
Format:Hardcover
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 anniversary cruise vacation. Well, Chaz thinks he's killed her, but Mick Stranahan, former detective, rescues Joey from the Gulf waters. Together they "gaslight" Chaz Perone and he doesn't know what hit him. Strangely Joey is all at sea as to her husband's motive for murder. Some things in this book seem expected such as the romance between Stranahan and Joey, but the secondary characters, they're something else! Karl Rolvaag, the detective assigned to Joey's case loves snakes and he would rather live in the frozen tundra of Minnesota than the steamy jungles of Florida. The apish Tool, who becomes rather endearing at the end. There is an underlying theme regarding the environment in the form of the Florida Everglades and its erosion. This theme is personified in a real interesting, enigmatic character called the Captain. He is a Vietnam vet, but he is also the Greenman or Wild Man of mythology. What a great character and what a great, fun story. Also higly recommended would be the shocking, funny, sometimes morbid, but always entertaining CHILDREN'S CORNER by bestselling author, Jackson McCrae.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Extremely well-done Oct. 2 2004
Format:Hardcover
If you enjoyed books such as "A Confederacy of Dunces" or "The Bark of the Dogwood," then you'll love this most-recent novel by Mr. H. Set in the disappearing and endangered Everglades, the cast of wacky individuals that make up this mind-altering romp is ingenious. Leave it to the author of "Lucy You" to come up with yet another great read.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Hiaasen's best to date! July 16 2004
Format:Hardcover
Far-fetched, hilariously funny, zany characters...YEP, this is absolutely entertaining writer's, Carl Hiaasen's best story yet! If you are a reader that loves to be entertained then "Skinny Dip," is the book for you! You won't be disappointed! (Highly Recommended!)
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars wonderfully quirky and fun Oct. 21 2004
By A Customer
Format:Hardcover
Carl Hiaasen's SKINNY DIP is one wonderfully quirky and fun crime thriller that throbs with an exotic Miami heart. I think it is clearly his best so far. Yes, even better than BASKET CASE. I've read a lot of good, fun, very imaginative novels lately--A SECRET WORD by Paddock, JONATHAN STRANGE by Clarke, THE CURIOUS INCIDENT OF THE DOG by Haddon. It would be hard to order them, but SKINNY DIP might be my personal favorite.
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4.0 out of 5 stars An enjoyable read Dec 14 2011
By Gen TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Mass Market Paperback|Verified Purchase
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.
That being said, it wasn't as sharp as Tim Dorsey, nor as tongue-in-cheek as Christopher Moore; but considering I've read everything by those two authors, Carl Hiaasen will be my new go-to author when I need a laugh.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Wacky Nov. 13 2007
By Asia
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I noticed no one star ratings on this book, and for good reason. It's really a lot of fun. Now, if you don't enjoy over the top books, stop reading now and don't think about purchasing Skinny Dip, because that's exactly what you'll get.

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.
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