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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Carl Hiaasen is feelin' fine...
There have been some slow patches in the Hiaasen oeuvre (_Lucky You_ comes to mind), but Carl Hiaasen is fit as a fiddle in this outing.
Jack Tagger is a death-obsessed obituary writer at a South Florida newspaper taken over by one of today's huge media conglomerates. Like most of Hiaasen's protagonists, he's doing penance for exhibiting a spot of integrity and...
Published on June 28 2003 by Charleen Bunjiovianna

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3.0 out of 5 stars Not his best
I agree with the earlier reviewer, this is not Hiaasen's best book. The Characters just do not jump off the page like in his other books. I did give it 3 stars as I did finish it but never felt there was a pay off.
Published on Jan. 23 2002 by Jason Webster


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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Carl Hiaasen is feelin' fine..., June 28 2003
By 
Charleen Bunjiovianna (Redwood City, CA USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Basket Case (Mass Market Paperback)
There have been some slow patches in the Hiaasen oeuvre (_Lucky You_ comes to mind), but Carl Hiaasen is fit as a fiddle in this outing.
Jack Tagger is a death-obsessed obituary writer at a South Florida newspaper taken over by one of today's huge media conglomerates. Like most of Hiaasen's protagonists, he's doing penance for exhibiting a spot of integrity and still mooning over his ex-girlfriend, who is about to marry a daffy poet.
A name on a death notice catches his eye and he realizes the deceased is aka Jimmy Stoma of Jimmy and the Slut Puppies, who were famous for about 15 minutes and three albums back in the day. His editor doesn't want him to pursue the story but it's too good to resist, so he grabs an interview with the grieving widow, and once again Hiaasen is off to the races.
A darned-near perfect read. I loved the characters, especially Ike, the octogenarian fisherman. I finished the book in a day and started again at the beginning. May you find as much pleasure in it as I did.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Not his best, Jan. 23 2002
By 
Jason Webster "An Argonaut" (CA United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Basket Case (Hardcover)
I agree with the earlier reviewer, this is not Hiaasen's best book. The Characters just do not jump off the page like in his other books. I did give it 3 stars as I did finish it but never felt there was a pay off.
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5.0 out of 5 stars The one, the only, July 18 2004
By A Customer
This review is from: Basket Case (Mass Market Paperback)
I've only read one other writer/book that took me by storm the way Hiassen did: McCrae with his "Bark of the Dogwood." But even he can't compare to Hiassen. "Basket Case" is not as boisterous as many of Haissen's previous books, but it has its hilarious moments. Many of the previous books expose over-development of the Florida landscape. Basket Case has serious points to make too - about the current state of the newspaper wing of the 4th Estate. Haissen, a longtime newspaperman himself, knows wherefrom he speaks. There is only one Carl Hiaasen. Sure there are a few pretenders out there but he is the master of the Florida landscape and it's peculiar brand of weirdoes, corrupt officials and sunseekers. Also recommed: Sick puppy and Lucky you.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Clever, dark humor, July 3 2004
By 
R. Portier (WI, USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Basket Case (Mass Market Paperback)
Since reading Stormy Weather on a trip, I've been working my way through all of Carl Hiaasen's books. In the case of Basket Case, I was reading the book during a domestic flight. I noticed neither the take-off nor landing, and failed to be airsick for the first time in my life, I was so engrossed. I even managed to drop the book one time because I was laughing so hard. Despite a blatant misure of a reptilian, this is a fantastic book.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A Great Way to Lighten Up, April 21 2004
This review is from: Basket Case (Mass Market Paperback)
This book is a first for me by this author which I came upon by chance. I had been looking for a suspenseful yet rollicking ride of a read for the past couple of years. This book satisfied the criteria of hilarious mystery escapism. Even though a lot of the premises were pretty far-fetched, I thought it was also balanced by some insightful character portraits. I especially liked the way Jack's stepfather was depicted as shamefully flawed in some ways yet still lovable. This author is highly recommended for those times when you really need to chuckle. A lot.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A Black Humored Detective Story, April 21 2004
By 
M. A. Ramos (Florida USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Basket Case (Mass Market Paperback)
Basket case takes a story of a Journalist worried about his own mortality and his run in with the world of Rock-n-Roll. A down and out reporter, Jack Tagger, lets us have inside look at the workings of a reporters mind. Jack works at his local paper who is run by a man who moves the company headquarters to San Diego so his sports car will not rust. And his goal is for the paper to make a 25 percent annual profit margin, at the expense of good news reporting.
Unlike Mr. Hiaasen's other books that I have read, "Basket Case" is written in the first person. And stays with our hero, Jack. It reminds me of the old style detective novels. The book does have violence, with the Hiaasen touch. I especially thought the sever bludgeoning with a frozen monitor lizard was original. So we follow Jack Tagger, down-on-his luck obituary writer for South Florida's Union-Register, as he investigates the mysterious death of a onetime rock star named Jimmy Stoma.
If you are looking for a good read give this one a try.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great fun to read, Jan. 30 2004
This review is from: Basket Case (Mass Market Paperback)
This is the second Carl Hiaasen book I've read and it certainly didn't disappoint! Basket Case is full of zany characters who get themselves into interesting and sometimes outrageous situations.
The book features an obituary writer, Jack Tagger, who is obsessed with death. When a rock icon, Jimmy Stoma (of Jimmy and the Slut Puppies) dies under mysterious circumstances, Tagger sets out to solve the mystery.
The thing that I find most entertaining about Hiaasen's books is his ability to capture the oddities of Florida in such a funny way. This is one you don't want to miss!
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2.0 out of 5 stars This is one Sick Puppy.............., Sept. 27 2003
By 
"bukowskifan88" (Washington, PA United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Basket Case (Mass Market Paperback)
I'm a big Carl Hiaasen fan, but to be honest, this was not as enjoyable as say Sick Puppy or Stormy Weather. The humor is sporadic, and the characters fail to take on a life of their own. If anyone has read any of his books with Skink in them, you will understand what I mean by that.
The main character, Jack Tagger is a reporter who has been demoted to the obit section of the paper and becomes a walking almanac of who died at what age. It's a running gag that is funny, but again, it's not enough compared to his other works. The plot is boring, a rock musician (Jimmy Stoma) dies in the Bahamas, and during the course of writing the obit, Jack has a lot of questions surface. He investigates and speculates Jimmy was murdered.
Sadly, this just is not a very good effort from an author I thoroughly enjoy. Hopefully he'll get back on track. Bringing back Skink always seems to work.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Hiaasen Light, Sept. 7 2003
By A Customer
This review is from: Basket Case (Mass Market Paperback)
Less manic and mean than most of Hiaasen's previous books, "Basket Case" is 1 part Leonard, 1 part Fletch, and 1 part Dan Jenkins (and that's a BIG compliment). The books is semi-tender (girl-boy stuff), but very tough on the business of journalism; Hiaasen feels as strongly about it as he does about the ruination of Florida, his other favorite subject. Throw in his obvious love for rock & roll and a by-the-way murder mystery and you have one terrific and witty book.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Spectacularly Performed Unabridged Audio, Aug. 22 2003
By 
Donald Mitchell "Jesus Loves You!" (Thanks for Providing My Reviews over 124,000 Helpful Votes Globally) - See all my reviews
(#1 HALL OF FAME)    (TOP 50 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Basket Case (Audio Cassette)
When Basket Case first came out, I read the book and enjoyed it very much. Finding myself in the mood for some humor in my audio cassette listening while I drive, I was delighted to see that Recorded Books has produced an unabridged version of the book narrated by George Wilson. His treatment of the book greatly improved how much I enjoyed it the second time. If you have neither read the book nor listened to an audio cassette version, I recommend that you listen to the audio and skip the book. You will double your laughs if you do!
Only a talented journalist could have ever concocted this story. It's filled with love for the profession and appropriate warnings against too much focus on the bottom line.
As the book opens, Jack Tagger, aged 46, explains how he came to serve as an obituary writer on the Union-Register, now owned by the publicly traded Maggad-Feist. In protest against the ham-handed policies of the new owners, Jack insulted the CEO (whom he likes to call Master Race Maggad III) at the shareholder's meeting. Maggad was afraid to fire Jack because of the potential for a law suit, so Jack was relegated to the obituary pages . . . hoping he would resign in disgust. Instead, he hangs on for dear life, hoping to make life difficult for all those around him, including his young editor, Emma. His objective is to drive her out of journalism (for her own good). The humor quickly becomes apparent as Jack reveals a morbid fascination with how old celebrities were when they died. Did you know that Jack Kerouac died at 47?
Into this mess of a frustrated career and life falls a brief notice of a death of one James Bradley Stomarti at 39. Something rings a bell, and suddenly Jack realizes that Stomarti is also known as Jimmy Stoma of the recording group, Jimmy and the Sl_t Puppies. Jack sells Emma on the idea of doing a feature on this, pointing out that the new managing editor is a Sl_t Puppies fan.
Over the course of the book, you'll learn what caused Jimmy Stoma to die, the ages at which a lot of celebrities died, and quite a bit about the newspaper business. The main theme is that good reporting will win out, and make the world a better place . . . both for the readers and for the reporters and editors.
This story has enough charm and convolutions to keep anyone amused for weeks. I recommend that you listen to the audio in small doses so you can cherish each wonderful line.
After you finish listening, think about where persistence can pay off in your life. How can you make the world a better place?
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Basket Case
Basket Case by Carl Hiaasen (Mass Market Paperback - Jan. 1 2003)
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