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Sanibel Flats (Doc Ford Novels) Mass Market Paperback – April 15, 1991


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Sanibel Flats (Doc Ford Novels) + The Heat Islands: A Doc Ford Novel (Doc Ford Novels) + Captiva (Doc Ford)
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Product Details

  • Series: Doc Ford Novels (Book 1)
  • Mass Market Paperback: 307 pages
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Paperbacks (April 15, 1991)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312926022
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312926021
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 0.8 x 6.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (105 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #6,538 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"A major new talent...hits the ground running...a virtually perfect piece of work. He's the best new writer we've encountered since Carl Hiassen. White's stylish narrative never falters. This is a book that's got everything and then some..." --Denver Post

"He describes southwestern Florida so well it's easy to smell the salt tang in the air and feel the cool gulf breeze." --Mansfield News Journal

"Stylish written!" --Kirkus Reviews

"[The] first appearance of intelligent, likable Doc Ford will leave readers hoping to see him again." --Publishers Weekly

"A promising debut from another Floridian who can turn a phrase." --Booklist

About the Author

Randy Wayne White is a columnist for Outside Magazine, the host of "On the Water," a PBS television series, and a veteran Sanibel Island fishing guide. He lives with his family in Ft. Myers, Florida.

Customer Reviews

You just like a good read, a fun read.
James L. Woolridge
This is the first time in a VERY long time that I didn't even finish the book.
S. Wiest
Really well written; held your attention; very very interesting characters.
nonreviewer

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

102 of 109 people found the following review helpful By RevChrisEsq on February 14, 2004
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Assuming others will give you an overview of the story, let me simply state that this is the first of the series, and among the best. (And I've read every one). An excellent place to start, rather than the latest book, Everglades.
So if you've never read any of the Doc Ford series, or you're already a fan of author Randy Wayne White, by all means buy this book! My favorites in the Doc Ford series, are, (drum roll, please):
(5 stars)
Captiva
Twelve Mile Limit
Shark River
The Heat Islands
Ten Thousand Islands
Sanibal Flats (the first in the series)
The following are the 4 stars in the series--great stories, but I wouldn't recommend them as a first read of the author:
Everglades
The Man Who Invented Florida (a bit different from the rest of the series--Doc Ford isn't as prominent in the tale as his uncle, Tucker Gatrell, but this also is the funniest in the Doc Ford series)
North of Havana
The Mangrove Coast
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36 of 37 people found the following review helpful By Bill Stockstill VINE VOICE on December 9, 2001
Format: Mass Market Paperback
My sister got me hooked up on Randy White's Doc Ford novels this summer. I am from Sarasota so it was interesting to read about action and adventure occurring in an area that is close to home. This is the first Doc Ford novel and although I liked it it is not my favorite.
Doc is an ex-NSA officer that has returned home to SW Florida to start a new life. He is a marine biologist (his front while being an NSA operative) who is the owner of the one man operation Sanibel Biological Supply. He lives in an old stilt house on fictional Dinkins Bay that also serves as his lab. Close by, at Dinkins Bay Marina, are his neighbors and friends. His best friend, Tomlinson, who reminds me physically of the character Jeff Bridges played in The Big Lebowski, lives on a sailboat at the marina. The two are opposites that author White has said in an interview represent his own coming to terms with his logical (Ford) and spirital (Tomlinson) sides.
This novel has Ford rescuing a dead highschool friend's small boy from a group of radical terrorists in a Central American country. Ford's NSA past is revisited as he sets off to save the boy with the freespirit "hippy" Tomlinson by his side. This novel has a twist for an ending and like all White's Doc Ford novels gives you a history lesson to boot.
White was a saltwater guide and does a wonderful job of explaining different mysteries the Gulf in that part of Florida holds. He also knows the ins and outs of a marina's micro-community and does an excellent job of describing how it feels to live with a group of boaters on the water. Also, White has done a great deal of research on the Calusa Indians of Florida as well as the ancient peoples of Central and South America.
As I said, this is not my favorite Doc Ford Novel. My favorites were Captiva (dealing with the Net Ban issue) and Heat Islands.
But it doesn't matter which one you start off with, if you like one, you'll like them all.
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26 of 29 people found the following review helpful By marzipan on July 24, 2000
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I'm never sure whether I enjoy Randy Wayne White's Doc Ford mysteries because I love Captiva Island, or because they're as good as they seem. I've read all of them, and re-read this one recently. Reading it in a more urban environment than Sanibel or Captiva Island has convinced me it's the latter. His ex CIA agent turned marine biologist detective is a wonderful character, virile, but sweet,too. While world-weary Doc Ford is as laid-back as only too many hours spent looking for fish on Florida's Gulf coast can make one, he's ready for action whenever he's got to get that boat moving!
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17 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Michael D. Trimble VINE VOICE on June 13, 2005
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This was not my first Doc Ford novel; in fact my first and only other Randy Wayne White book, was his latest, Dead of Night. I thought Dead of Night was very good, but Sanibel Flats-the first book in the Doc Ford series-was much better. If you are reading this review then perhaps you have never read anything else by White, and if so, then I would recommend you start at the beginning. Doc Ford and some of the characters that are central to the series are introduced and explained in this book. It just makes for better understanding of everything that takes place in the previous novels if you read at least this one first. I don't know if the rest of the books need to be read in order, but I plan to read them that way, so if you are interested in my impression of the others, as I read them, then just check back every so often by clicking on the "see all my reviews" link.

Having said all that, I have nothing but the highest praise for Sanibel Flats. The plotting and pace were in my opinion perfect. A page-turner for sure. There was good character development even though some if the characters were a bit too over-the-top to be believable. But isn't that why you read books like this? I mean, it's fiction after all and the point of the story is to entertain! Some of the book was predictable, but the conclusion certainly was not. Overall story-telling was superb and the dialogue is about as good as it gets, so too was the apparent research behind the facts in the book. You get the impression that White is at the very least an ichthyologist who also happens be a great story teller!

There are a few (very few) mature sequences in this book, so be advised. This book is a great read and in fact memorable. There are unique aspects of White's writing and the manner in which Doc Ford is portrayed, that will appeal, equally well, to both men and women. I am highly recommending it, and it has my highest, five star rating.
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More About the Author

Randy Wayne White is the author of sixteen previous Doc Ford novels and four collections of nonfiction. He lives in an old house built on an Indian mound in Pineland, Florida.

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Sanibel Flats (Doc Ford Novels)
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