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Baked: A Novel Paperback – August 3, 2010


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Frequently Bought Together

Baked: A Novel + Raw: A Love Story + Moist: A Novel
Price for all three: $36.16

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  • Raw: A Love Story $11.98
  • Moist: A Novel $12.35

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Grove Press, Black Cat; First Edition edition (August 3, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0802170765
  • ISBN-13: 978-0802170767
  • Product Dimensions: 8.3 x 5.5 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #717,004 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Smith (Moist) misfires with this attempt at a darkly humorous crime novel, which opens with the shooting of botanist Miro Basinas in Los Angeles. A month earlier, Basinas traveled to Amsterdam to enter the Cannabis Cup, a major international cannabis competition, which his strain, Elephant Crush, ends up winning. His valuable commodity attracts predators, and while recovering in the hospital from his bullet wound, he learns someone has stolen the seed supply of his brand. Various improbable characters enter the action, notably Shamus Noriega, a half-Salvadoran, half-Irish gangster, who provides weed to medical marijuana centers, and Mormon elder Daniel Lamb, who struggles with his sexual urges and winds up abandoning his church to work at a taco truck ("people didn't need dogma, religion, or special underwear; people needed a good burrito"). Potheads will have fun, but others may find Basinas's quest for revenge less than compelling.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

L.A. botanist Miro Basinas prides himself on the quality of his latest batch of homegrown marijuana, Elephant Crush, a wickedly strong pot that tastes like mangoes. When he wins the prized Cannabis Cup competition in Amsterdam, he feels like he has finally hit the big time and is on his way to breaking into the top echelon of cannabis breeders, able to sell his seeds to growers everywhere. His cerebral approach to farming in no way prepares him for the warfare heading his way when the greedy owner of a chain of medical marijuana dispensaries decides to steal Miro's plants and take him out. The cast of outré characters in Smith's latest outrageous blend of gross-out comedy and grotesque violence includes a paramedic with a taste for kinky sex, a young Mormon missionary struggling with his impure thoughts and his sacred underpants, and a vicious gangbanger and his moronic “helpers.” Although the plots of Smith's novels (including Moist, 2007) often read like the work of someone who is entirely baked, connoisseurs of absurdist humor will find him working at the top of his game here. --Joanne Wilkinson

More About the Author

Mark Haskell Smith is the author of five novels, Moist, Delicious, Salty, Baked, and Raw: A Love Story. He has also written the non-fiction book Heart of Dankness: Underground Botanists, Outlaw Farmers, and the Race for the Cannabis Cup.

He is currently writing a non-fiction book about the history of nudism: Naked At Lunch: A Reluctant Nudist's Adventures in an Anti-Textile World for Grove/Atlantic.

His work has appeared in the Los Angeles Times, Los Angeles Review of Books, and Vulture. Smith is an assistant professor in the MFA program for Writing and Writing for the Performing Arts at the University of California, Riverside, Palm Desert Graduate Center.

He lives in Los Angeles. He likes Mexican Food.

www.markhaskellsmith.com or www.heartofdankness.tumblr.com

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5 stars
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Laugh out loud funny, especially because it deals with marijuana!
MTB Ninja
A lesser writer might try to use Mark's type of material to flash and awe the reader, distract them from the actual writing.
D. S. Atkinson
The protagonist is appealing and the author balances a vivid cast of characters with real skill.
Robert C. Berring

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Tony DuShane on September 10, 2010
Format: Paperback
There were so many times I laughed out loud reading this at a cafe, people came up to me to find out what I was reading.

When I heard the book had to do with the Cannabus Cup in Amsterdam, medical pot growers in Los Angeles and Mormons, I couldn't wait to see if Haskell Smith could pull it off....and he pulls it off with perfection.

I don't want to give too much away because there are so many gems in the characters, and actually the similarity of spirituality between religion and growing pot.

I've read every book by Haskell Smith, all of them funny, but he definitely has topped himself with this one. It's one of those novels where I have to write notes in the margins and underline standout sentences. It also reads with a swiftness that feels like a great six hour film.

It's a refreshing fun read in a literary world that sometimes takes itself too seriously.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By D. S. Atkinson on August 9, 2010
Format: Paperback
"Baked" has got to be Mark's best work yet. It is completely wild and funny and at the same time the writing is very tight and clean. He has incredible characters in unimaginable circumstances and he pulls it all off like it is completely natural. A lesser writer might try to use Mark's type of material to flash and awe the reader, distract them from the actual writing. Mark doesn't do that, though. The insane aspects are fully integrated with all the necessary components of a good story. They contribute to the whole rather than distract or prop up. Mark really roars on all cylinders in this book. Anyone who doesn't read it is seriously missing out.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Mikey D on August 2, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
If you love Carl Hiassen, then you will love this book. It is hilarious, well written, and impossible to put down. Smith uses humor and the ridiculous to make statements and deliver societal messages. This book is highly entertaining, but not slapstick stupid because of the author's prose and his ability to tell a story. The characters are also vivid people from all walks of life who are most interesting. Highly enjoyable, you will not be disappointed.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Harriet Klausner #1 HALL OF FAME on August 7, 2010
Format: Paperback
In Los Angeles botanist Miro Basinas is shot. One month earlier, Miro competed in the international Cannabis Cup tournament in Amsterdam. Stunningly his Elephant Crush won the gold medal at the competition because of its wonderful flavoring that tastes like mango.

Miro thought by entering his prize specialty grown weed he would hit the big time especially after he won. Now in a hospital as he recovers from being shot he learns his seed has been stolen by predatory capitalists who plan to sell his cannabis. He vows revenge, but has no idea how one goes about becoming an avenger as this is comic books or a movie and he is a weed botanist; besides he has no idea who shot him and stole his seed as several predators, besides the usual suspects, surface.

This is a dark amusing crime caper starring a half baked capitalist botanist and a horde of eccentric characters who run the gamut of stereotypical free market idealists. Although the support cast can strain the story line with too much quirkiness, readers who enjoy something different will appreciate the battle of the capitalists who want to sell legally at medical marihuana "Starbucks" and illegally on the streets, Miro blend with or without his cooperation; as competition is cutthroat.

Harriet Klausner
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Tiffany Hawk on August 19, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I loved this book. The only disappointment was coming to the end, and maybe losing sleep when I couldn't put it down. Subtly layered under the hilarious and suspenseful plot, are moving and thought provoking questions about life and spirituality. When lesser writers try to get too deep, I find myself groaning. Haskell Smith was spot on.
Even if you're turned off by drug use, as I am, I think you will thoroughly enjoy this read.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Robert C. Berring on August 30, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This novel is a blend of Carl Hiasson and vintage Tom Robbins. The protagonist is appealing and the author balances a vivid cast of characters with real skill. I kept worrying that the whole thing would go off the rails, but the book stayed true throughout. The ending was even fun. At the bottom of the story there is an intriguing analysis of the current dilemma of medical marijuana in California. Enjoy.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Richard Barrieau on December 26, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
lots of things could be said about this book.Great characters,fast moving he really captures L.A. interesting subplots. I read it in 2 days.Smith really made me a fan!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By D. Moore on March 18, 2011
Format: Paperback
Miro - a mild mannered botanist type - has invented a new strain of cannabis which he has named Elephant Crush. When it wins the prestigious Cannabis Cup in Amsterdam, suddenly, all sorts of people are interested - not all of them nice - especially drug dealer Shamus Noriega (yes, really) and medical marijuana guru Vincent - the totally compassion-less owner of the 'Compassion Centers". I've waited far too long for another Mark Haskell Smith. As with his other books BAKED is full of mindless violence, black humour, and wonderfully absurd characters - in this one a paramedic with a strap on, a young Mormon both fascinated and scared by sex and assorted bad guys including one called Shamus Noriega - half Salvadoran and whose "father was an Irish merchant seaman turned construction worker turned bartender turned Latina impregnator turned deportation victim who was sent back to Cork when Shamus was only five". Wickedly funny and warped. Loved it - I felt as though I was inhaling when I got a fit of the giggles.
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