Monday, October 24, 2005

Troubadoor of the everglades

Not being much of a fan of mystery novels, I had heard of Carl Hiaasen but never read any of his books. Until, last year, I read an interview with him in Outside magazine. Sounded like an interesting guy. So I picked up Basket Case:
Once a hotshot investigative reporter, Jack Tagger now bangs out obituaries for a South Florida daily, "plotting to resurrect my newspaper career by yoking my byline to some famous stiff." Jimmy Stoma, the infamous front man of Jimmy and the Slut Puppies, dead in a fishy-smelling scuba "accident," might be the stiff of Jack's dreams — if only he can figure out what happened.

Enjoyable story, with some nice writing. Later, I picked up his latest, Skinny Dip. A comic novel about an inept murderer:
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.

…and his wife’s continuing to fake her death to exact her revenge on Chaz. Fun, light-hearted book I’d recommend if you’re looking for popcorn reading that doesn’t insult your intelligence. Figured, when stuck for something to read, I’d work my way through his back catalog. So, looking at a stack of too serious books I don’t have the energy to read, I picked up Tourist Season, his first novel. Only about halfway through, but it’s a fine outrageous and comic take about an insane newspaper columnist who decides the best way to save south Florida from the tourists is to murder them. This excerpt takes place when his editor sends him to a psychiatrist shortly before he goes AWOL.
Dr. Remond Courtney didn’t blink. He merely said: “I’m not sure I heard you right, Mr. Wiley.”

“Oh, sorry.” Skip Wiley got up and ambled across the office. He leaned over and positioned his large face two inche’s from the doctor’s nose. “I said,’” Wiley shouted, as if Courtney was deaf, “is it really true that you have sex with mallard ducks?”

“No,” Courtney replied, lips whitening.

“Mergensers, then?”


“Ah, so it’s geese. No need to be ashamed.”

“Mr Wiley, sit down, please. I think we’re avoiding the subject , aren’t we?”

“And what subject would that be, Dr. Goosefucker? May I call you that? Do you mind?”


Blogger Ahistoricality said...

That's funny. My in-laws are visiting, and Hiassen is what my mother-in-law is reading right now. Small world....

10/25/2005 07:20:00 AM  

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