Customer Reviews


130 Reviews
5 star:
 (49)
4 star:
 (41)
3 star:
 (23)
2 star:
 (7)
1 star:
 (10)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 

The most helpful favourable review
The most helpful critical review


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

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars Basket Case is . . . a Basket Case
Basket Case is a very funny book. If it's the first Carl Hiaasen book you've read, you'll be rolling in the aisles. But if you've read Stormy Weather or Native Tongue (my favorite), you'll be disappointed.
Mr. Hiaasen has an extraordinary sense of humor. He's very articulate and has a great delivery. But like a gifted series on television (granted there are few)...
Published on Jan. 18 2003 by Larry Scantlebury


‹ Previous | 1 213 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

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.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


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.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


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?
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars Hiaasen keeps on producing hits, July 29 2003
By 
RevChrisEsq (Asheville, NC United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Basket Case (Hardcover)
I think I've read every Carl Hiaasen novel written. Some border on the utterly insane, like Double Whammy, Native Tongue,and Stormy Weather. A very few border on the halfway serious, like Skin Tight.
Others are somewhere in between the "halfway but not completely there" normality of Skin Tight and the "utterly insane" of Double Whammy and Stormy Weather. Basket Case falls in this middle category.
I say this because it seems to be heading toward utter insanity much of the book, but the final chapters return to a bit of normality rather than pushing the "pedal to the metal" nuttiness that continued through the climax of stories like Double Whammy.
The plot centers around Jack, who writes columns about the recently deceased. Jack has been demoted from a news reporter for having the audacity of telling the new owner of the paper that the cutbacks and layoffs have resulted in an inferior paper. (Presumably, rather than fire him for insubordination and risk a lawsuit, the owner figures just demote him to the obits and hope he quits in embarrassment or boredom.)
But Jack notices that a former rock star of which he was fond years ago has died locally, and he begins investigating, ostensibly to write a news column of the celebrity death, and quickly finds serious inconsistencies in the stories and strange maneuverings going on.
Hiaasen produces another cast of whacky characters, among which is a sister of the deceased who earns her living stripping in her home for Internet voyeurs, a developing romance between Jack the reporter and his younger female supervisor, and intrigue between stockholders in the newspaper corporate ownership.
Over the years, Hiaasen has figured out that his "niche" in the publishing world as an author is the comedy murder, or telling of crazy capers and creation of insane characters. Pete Hautman is another author who appears to be following in Hiaasen's footsteps and success in this genre.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


4.0 out of 5 stars Par for the course for a slick dialogue master like Hiassen., July 21 2003
By 
This review is from: Basket Case (Mass Market Paperback)
Basket Case puts us into the shoes of a local Florida reporter named Jack Tagger. Jack has been demoted to writing obituaries after insulting the owner of the newspaper he works for. Jack's reason for doing this is made clear in the book and it is an important one of the many items that gives us a feel for Jack's character. As with most of Hiassen's lead characters Jack is a bit of an oddball. A literary crusader and all around good guy who finds it hard to contain his sarcastic wit when it comes to people that he doesn't like. Jack is a bit of a worrier and the Basket Case of the book's title as he is constantly obsessing about writers who have died at the same age that he is currently.
The main plot boils down to, Jack gets put on the obituary of a former rock star and ends up trying to solve a murder.
Unlike in previous books Hiassen uses a new set of characters in Basket Case, not going to the well of Florida oddballs he has fictionalized in his past novels. This works out fine as most of the characters are quirky and distinct in many of the same ways that his others have been. I'd say the quirky character factor is moderate here compared to some of his other novels.
Hiassen has a knack for creating witty banter for his characters. Jack Tagger's internal thought process is what gives color to Hiassen's world and what speeds Basket Case along despite a murder mystery that isn't actually all that interesting. A series of little plot twists throughout keeps you guessing at what might end up happening in the end though.
Overall not Hiassen's best but certainly a fast paced book with plenty of amusing situations, dialogue and characters.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars Not Your Average Murder Mystery, March 6 2003
By A Customer
This review is from: Basket Case (Mass Market Paperback)
This was the first book by Carl Hiaasen that I've read, but it will not be my last. This is not your typical murder mystery. There are too many strange twists and turns to count. This book combines humor, quaky character, and numerous settings. It's perfect for anyone who enjoys sarcasm and unpredictablility.
Hiaasen tells the tale of a bitter, once hot shot newspaper journalist, Jack Tagger who has been demoted to writing obituaries. Tagger comes across the death of Jimmy Stoma, a former bad boy rock and roller, which he happened to be a big fan of. After interviewing friends, relatives, and the not so mournful widow of Stoma, Tagger becomes intrigued with the circumstances of the rocker's death, and finds some answers for himself, and for a chance to have a front-page story.
On the way to solving a murder, Tagger encounters several beatings, robbery, the oh-so-typical pop star, an odd romance, a shareholder with an evil plot, a CEO with an even more evil plot, and an unexpected twist involving a frozen lizard. What begins as a murder investigation ends as a multiple murder scandal with justice prevailing in the end, and the main character gets an added bonus as well.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars Not Your Average Murder Mystery, March 6 2003
By A Customer
This review is from: Basket Case (Mass Market Paperback)
This was the first book by Carl Hiaasen that I've read, but it will not be my last. This is not your typical murder mystery. There are too many strange twists and turns to count. This book combines humor, quaky character, and numerous settings. It's perfect for anyone who enjoys sarcasm and unpredictablility.
Hiaasen tells the tale of a bitter, once hot shot newspaper journalist, Jack Tagger who has been demoted to writing obituaries. Tagger comes across the death of Jimmy Stoma, a former bad boy rock and roller, which he happened to be a big fan of. After interviewing friends, relatives, and the not so mournful widow of Stoma, Tagger becomes intrigued with the circumstances of the rocker's death, and finds some answers for himself, and for a chance to have a front-page story.
On the way to solving a murder, Tagger encounters several beatings, robbery, the oh-so-typical pop star, an odd romance, a shareholder with an evil plot, a CEO with an even more evil plot, and an unexpected twist involving a frozen lizard. What begins as a murder investigation ends as a multiple murder scandal with justice prevailing in the end, and the main character gets an added bonus as well.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


4.0 out of 5 stars Change of pace Hiaasen, Feb. 28 2003
This review is from: Basket Case (Mass Market Paperback)
In Basket Case, Carl Hiaasen - a master of the Floridian comic caper novel - takes a slight break from his usual storytelling. Yes, this novel is comic and in Florida, but Hiaasen has changed his narrative style to tell his tale.
Basket Case is the story of Jack Tagger, a typical Hiaasen hero who is a reporter and somewhat down on his luck. After enraging the paper's owner, Tagger has been condemned to writing obituaries. When a once-famous rock singer dies, Tagger writes the obit and gets a suspicion that foul play was involved...a feeling reinforced when other members of the band also start dying. Tagger sees this as an opportunity to get to the front page again and pursues the mystery.
Unlike Hiaasen's other stories, this novel is told in the first person and the present tense. While still a good story, it winds up limiting his usual abilities. Limited to Tagger's point-of-view, we cannot follow some of the other interesting characters. Of course, there are no really bizarre characters in this story, which is also a change of pace.
In the end, this is a good novel with no real flaws but nothing really standout either; I had fun reading it, but it was not the pure delight of a Tourist Season or a Native Tongue. Hiaasen has written a should-read, not a must-read.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars A Slam Dunk, Jan. 21 2003
By 
This review is from: Basket Case (Mass Market Paperback)
I doubt there's anyone out there who hasn't heard of Carl Hiaasen yet, even though only one of his books has been made into a film. I had seen him for years before the garish, comedic, Florida-themed book cover that was his visual trademark was coopted by the likes of Lawrence Shames and Hialeah Jackson. These writers' publishers elected to make their books look like Hiaasen's for good reason - Hiaasens's books were gems, perfect, shiny little pieces of literature that could entertain, enlighten and captivate.
"Basket Case" is the latest such gem.
In a way, it is simplest Hiaasen book yet - Obit writer Jack Tagger discovers some funny business behind the death of James Stomarti, frontman for the fictional Jimmy and the Slut Puppies, and tries to find out who's beind it. Whodunnit is fairly straightforward and not even really important. This book is really about Tagger and his search for truth and comfort in a world gone dispassionate.
Consider the subplots. Tagger, as an obituarian, is obsessed with death and dwells on the death dates of countless celebrities as he compares his own age to their ages at the time of death. He is also obsessed with learning about his dead father, whom he never knew. He is obsessed with his ex-girlfriend, whom he lost because he could not face the future, could only count down the days until his own death. He is obsessed with true journalism while working for a corporate paper that has lost all journalistic integrity.
Clearly, this book is something more than a murder mystery. It is a rumination on age and self. It is an examination of love and expectation. Hiaasen himself seems to be questioning age, questioning death, reflecting on his own life as a journalist.
But he has wrapped all this serious content into a hilarious package so we don't notice the bittersweetness until the very end. That is a tribute to Hiaasen's skill as a comedian. As usual in a Hiaasen novel, the characters are real, yet very, very odd, they are the kind of characters that other Florida-based writer wish they could write.
"Basket Case" is a wonderful book.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


3.0 out of 5 stars Basket Case is . . . a Basket Case, Jan. 18 2003
By 
Larry Scantlebury (Ypsilanti, MI United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Basket Case (Mass Market Paperback)
Basket Case is a very funny book. If it's the first Carl Hiaasen book you've read, you'll be rolling in the aisles. But if you've read Stormy Weather or Native Tongue (my favorite), you'll be disappointed.
Mr. Hiaasen has an extraordinary sense of humor. He's very articulate and has a great delivery. But like a gifted series on television (granted there are few) eventually you run out of plots. And if you continue to use the misunderstood but passionate and cynical but lovable and extremely funny protagonist, who has looked for love in all the wrong places who suddenly finds a fabulous girlfriend AND solves the crime, well pardon the run-on sentence but there's only so many times you can go to that well.
If you're going to be comedic, you have to be fresh. Maybe there's a Carl Hiaasen out there who is sitting on a manuscript that's angry, righteous and slick, and not funny. But Basket Case becomes repetitive and tedious. We've heard that joke before. A lot of times. It reminds me of a comedian who goes on a rant. At first you nod your head in agreement. After the 7th or 8th time you realize that the anger and outrage is for effect and it detracts from the message.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


‹ Previous | 1 213 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

This product

Basket Case
Basket Case by Carl Hiaasen (Mass Market Paperback - Jan. 1 2003)
CDN$ 8.99 CDN$ 8.54
In Stock
Add to cart Add to wishlist
Only search this product's reviews