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Double Whammy Mass Market Paperback – March 1, 1989

302 customer reviews
Book 1 of 6 in the Skink Series

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

A Miami Herald reporter who struck a blow against corrupt entrepreneurs in Tourist Season, Hiaasen follows through with this acid satire, a real double whammy. Private detective R. J. Decker is hired to prove that TV host Dickie Lockhart cheats to win fortunes in Florida bass-fishing tournaments. The investigation makes Decker a prey to hired killers who have murdered other "snoops," but the detective also finds a strong if weird ally in a hermit who calls himself Skink. Along with two honest cops, Skink goes with Decker to the lake where a big tournament is under way and the four make a tremendous splash, to the dismay of the assembly. Hardest hit is Reverend Weeb, Lockhart's sponsor on the Outdoor Christian Network, whose generous supporters don't know that he's addicted to prostitutes, profanity and land-grabbing. The cast of bizarre characters and the suspenseful events confirm Hiaasen's reputation for creating singular villains and heroes. While he's probably unpopular among some fellow citizens in his home state, he will certainly please readers who appreciate the Swiftian wit in his cautionary tales.
Copyright 1987 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal

The "double whammy" is a special lure used in the competitive bass fishing underlying the plot of this thriller by Miami journalist Hiaasen ( The Tourist Season ). Someone is cheating at bass fishing competitions, and people are getting killed. Enter R.J. Decker, former photojournalist and ex-con. Decker teams up with Skink, an unbelievable character who lives in a forest shack, eats road-killed animals, and reads Dostoyevsky (and turns out to be the ex-governor of Florida). Decker's an unlikely hero, always a step behind. Other characters include the usual corrupt TV evangelists, rednecks, smart black policemen, and betrayingly beautiful women. The action is swift, and there are some very funny scenes. Louise A. Merriam, L.E. Phillips Memorial P.L., Eau Claire, Wis.
Copyright 1988 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Grand Central Publishing; later printing edition (March 1, 1989)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0446352764
  • ISBN-13: 978-0446352765
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 1 x 7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (302 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #33,399 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Carl Hiaasen was born and raised in Florida, where he still lives with his incredibly tolerant family and numerous personal demons.

A graduate of the University of Florida, at age 23 he joined The Miami Herald as a general assignment reporter and went on to work for the paper's weekly magazine and later its prize-winning investigations team. Since 1985 Hiaasen has been writing a regular column, which at one time or another has pissed off just about everybody in South Florida, including his own bosses. He has outlasted almost all of them, and his column still appears on most Sundays in The Herald's opinion-and-editorial section. It may be viewed online at or in the actual printed edition of the newspaper, which, miraculously, is still being published.

For his journalism and commentary, Hiaasen has received numerous state and national honors, including the Damon Runyon Award from the Denver Press Club. His work has also appeared in many well-known magazines, including Sports Illustrated, Playboy, Time, Life, Esquire and, most improbably, Gourmet.

In the early 1980s, Hiaasen began writing novels with his good friend and distinguished journalist, the late William D. Montalbano. Together they produced three mystery thrillers -- Powder Burn, Trap Line and Double Whammy -- which borrowed heavily from their own reporting experiences.

Tourist Season, published in 1986, was Hiaasen's first solo novel. GQ magazine called it "one of the 10 best destination reads of all time," although it failed to frighten a single tourist away from Florida, as Hiaasen had hoped it might. His next effort, Double Whammy, was the first (and possibly the only) novel about sex, murder and corruption on the professional bass-fishing circuit.

Since then, Hiaasen has published nine others -- Skin Tight, Native Tongue, Strip Tease, Stormy Weather, Lucky You, Sick Puppy, Basket Case, Skinny Dip, The Downhill Lie and Nature Girl. Hiaasen made his children's book debut with Hoot (2002), which was awarded a Newbery Honor and spent more than two years on the New York Times bestseller lists. For young readers he went on to write the bestselling Flush (2005) and, most recently Scat (January 2009). The film version of Hoot was released in 2006, directed by Wil Shriner and produced by Jimmy Buffett and Frank Marshall. ("Hoot" is now available on DVD).

Hiaasen is also responsible for Team Rodent (1998), a wry but unsparing rant against the Disney empire and its creeping grip on the American entertainment culture. In 2008, Hiaasen came back to nonfiction with The Downhill Lie: A Hacker's Return to a Ruinous Sport. The book chronicles his harrowing and ill-advised reacquaintance with golf after a peaceful, 32-year absence.

Together, Hiaasen's novels have been published in 34 languages, which is 33 more than he is able to read or write. Still, he has reason to believe that all the foreign translations are brilliantly faithful to the original work. The London Observer has called him "America's finest satirical novelist," while Janet Maslin of the New York Times has compared him to Preston Sturges, Woody Allen and S.J. Perelman. Hiaasen re-reads those particular reviews no more than eight or nine times a day.

To prove that he doesn't just make up all the sick stuff in his fiction, Hiaasen has also published two collections of his newspaper columns, Kick A** and Paradise Screwed, both courageously edited by Diane Stevenson and faithfully kept in print by the University Press of Florida.

One of Hiaasen's previous novels, Strip Tease, became a major motion-picture in 1996 starring Demi Moore, and directed by Andrew Bergman. Despite what some critics said, Hiaasen continues to insist that the scene featuring Burt Reynolds slathered from his neck to his toes with Vaseline is one of the high points in modern American cinema.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

62 of 69 people found the following review helpful By Gary Jonas on May 3, 2000
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I stumbled across one of those bass fishing shows a few days before I read this book. I couldn't believe people would sit around and watch people fish! But they do. And Hiaasen had a ball writing about it, too.
This book has so many great moments. Skink and the poodle is one of the funniest things I've ever read. I laughed so hard, tears streamed down my face. I called a friend and tried to read the scene over the phone, but I couldn't stop laughing. It's all right, my friend knew I was crazy. He rushed out and bought the book, though! The pit bull in the trailer park scene and the aftermath is also priceless. I guess this is Hiaasen's dog book as well as his fish book.
Needless to say, if you haven't read Hiaasen, start with this one. You'll be hooked.
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25 of 27 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on August 10, 1997
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Carl Hiaasen has taken wonderfully wacky characters such as Skink, a mystery giant who wears a glass eye retrieved from a stuffed owl and who dines on road kill, and has turned them into individuals that you have to love. Hiassen's villians, while bad, will capture the reader's imaginations with their total ineptude.

This is the first book that I have read by Hiaasen, but the outrageous humor contained in the twists and turns of the plot, centered around a bass fishing tournament, have convinced me to read his other works.

Although this was the funniest book I believe I have ever read, Hiaasen, makes his real message, enviornmental destruction, loud and clear and if the reader is not an enviornmentalist before reading the book, there is a good chance s/he will put the book down believing there is work to be done in saving our county, whether it be the swamp lands that Hiaasen weaves into his tale, or perhaps the mountains or lakes in our own back yards!
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on December 20, 1999
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
This is also my favorite of the Hiaasen books, with Native Tongue and Tourist Season following. Hiaasen has a fabulous sense of chaos and absurdity. My husband and I laugh aloud at the bizarre events and characters that people his world. But there's enough underlying grit to make it all weirdly real, and definitely the underlying humanity to make it moving.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Michael D. Trimble VINE VOICE on May 24, 2005
Format: Mass Market Paperback
My first Hiaasen and an example of how useful reviews (reading other people's reviews) can be. I found out about Hiaasen by reading someone else's review of a Tim Dorsey book. As a matter of fact, a good number of books I have read recently are books that other people said were good and judging by previous books they reviewed, it looked like they had tastes similar to mine.

About the book...this is pure reading entertainment. Hiaasen's wicked imagination is what makes the book so interesting. He's written a typical mystery but the venue and the characters are anything but typical (television evangelism and professional bass fishing). Hiaasen spends so much time with character development that it is impossible not to feel an attachment to these crazy people and concern for the impossible situations in which he puts them. Everyone knows that the people who fish, regularly lie about the fish they caught and the ones that got away, but in Double Whammy the men on the professional bass fishing circuit have stepped it up a notch by cheating and murdering to cover up their cheating.

These characters are all larger than life and the stunts they pull are zany and over the top, but amongst all the fun, there is a real social message here that Hiaasen is able to pull off without being offensive.

Laugh out loud funny in spots and humorous nearly throughout. It was a joy to read!
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful By lazza on December 28, 2001
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Carl Hiaasen is a man who seems to hate so many things: corrupt politicians, polluters, cheats, racists, and hypocrites. This hatred, which usually manifests itself as hilarious satire, does get a bit old as one reads more than 2-3 Hiaasen novels. Yet if Hiaasen is on form the number of one-liners and hilarious situations greatly outweigh the repetitiveness of the material. Unfortunately for the Double Whammy reader, Hiaasen was not on best form when he wrote this book.
Double Whammy is Hiaasen's take on the crazy world of the obsessed bass fisherman and the promoters of the sport. Tied into all this is murder, hypocritical tele-evangelists, and a gallery of very strange people. No, it is not believable ... and nor is it intended to be (well, not really). There are some very funny moments in the book, especially towards the end. Yet while reading it I seem to recall similar scenarios in Hiaasen's other (and better) works such as Strip Tease. Still, it makes for a pleasant if utterly forgettable read.
Bottom line: Hiaasen newbies are advised to read Strip Tease. Yet Hiaasen fans might very well enjoy Double Whammy, especially if they are into bass fishing.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By D. Smith on December 19, 1999
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I like to space my serious reads out and delve into a little escapism once in a while. This is great escapism, hilarious characters and scenarios, and extremely readable. The only issue I had with this one was excessive use of poetic license and direct contradictions. I know little about the pro-fishing circuit, so that's not my beef. Terribly amusing, but not as endearing as the excellent Stormy Weather, or Lucky You, where the endings come together much cleaner (If you read this book, you'll see what I mean when you witness contradictions and great implausibility in the final tournament).
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