Most helpful positive review
50 of 51 people found the following review helpful
Hiassen gets in some wicked licks
on May 22, 2002
I picked up Hiassen's "Sick Puppy" at random a couple years back, and then rushed right out and grabbed this one. Nitrous oxide has nothing on these two elevators. I haven't laughed so hard, so continuously, since P.G. Wodehouse ushered me into the presence of the immortal Jeeves thirty years ago.
Hiassen's work seems to divide neatly into the early stuff, up through Skin Tight, which inhabits the same danger-ridden, darkly comic territory as Elmore Leonard, with similarly razor-edged dialogue; and the later stuff, which forms a genre of its own, savagely satirical farces that cast credibility and all sense of human decency and restraint to the winds in order to skewer every form of foible and malefaction. I love them both, but prefer the latter, to which "Native Tongue" squarely belongs. Here the targets range from Sea World to Disney to phone sex purveyors and their clients to fuzzy animal lovers to bodybuilders to birdwatchers. With his usual heaping helpings of lawyers, developers, politicians, and like members of the lower criminal orders. Not least among them, tied like Pauline to the railroad tracks of imminent extinction, those adorable blue-tongued mango voles. And you won't want to miss a single savory chunk of kabob on the master's shish.
I notice that the reviewers all seem to like best the first Hiassen they happened to read, and I'm no exception. This one, "Sick Puppy", and his first entry , "Tourist Season", by me are the champs. But I suspect if you were to ask Carl for his favorite, he'd direct you straight here to his Cage au Voles, because this is the one where he got to lampoon the South Florida theme park - an excrescence so dear to his heart that he made it the subject of "Team Rodent", his only nonfiction volume to date.