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Skinny Dip Paperback – Bargain Price, June 2, 2005
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You've got to hand it to Hiaasen: He's perfected a formula for crisply written, satirical crime fiction that makes the best use of imaginatively repulsive villains, as well as less thoroughly venal scoundrels and victims who ultimately overcome their antagonists, all while stumping for the preservation of Florida's environment, particularly the Everglades. In Skinny Dip, we find Chaz (who'd rather be golfing than puttering around the "hot, buggy, funky-smelling and treacherous" reaches of nature) falsifying water samples to help Hammernut turn the 'Glades into "Gods septic tank." That scheme, though, is endangered not just by Joey's sudden disappearance, but by the suspicions of a python-loving police detective and Chaz's own outstanding inability to tame his Viagra-enhanced tumescence. Even by assigning Chaz a baby-sitter--the hulking, hirsute, and painkiller-addicted Tool--Hammernut can't keep his pet biologist out of trouble. As Joey and Stranahan unfold their revenge plot, and Tool's conscience grows in competition with Chaz's ego, the reader can only marvel at the extent of the train wreck ahead.
As much fun as Hiaasen has delivering Chaz his climactic comeuppance, what's missing from Skinny Dip is a more complex, more credible development of Mick Stranahan's character and the relationship he builds with the much younger Joey Perrone. Like Erin Grant, from Strip Tease, Joey has far more going for her than her bra-cup size; but "hero" Stranahan is of far less interest here than any of his fellow players. --J. Kingston Pierce --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From Publishers Weekly
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
More About the Author
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 www.miamiherald.com 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.
Top Customer Reviews
Joey Perrone, the almost-murdered wife of corrupt Charles "Chaz" Perrone, makes it back to shore after her husband tosses her overboard a cruise ship, far off Key West's coast. He must have underestimated Joey's talents. She's a former swim star. And thanks to a floating bale of marijuana and the assistance of Mick Stranahan, a burnt-by-love ex-cop, she doesn't sink. Oh no! Joey lives for pay-back.
Chaz, an incompetent marine biologist, (he doesn't even know which direction the Gulf Stream flows in), has long been on the take from agribusiness tycoon Red Hammernut, (great name!), who's been dumping fertilizer into the endangered Everglades. He thinks that Joey has discovered that he's been exchanging clean-water samples for the actual tainted water that is the result of Hammernut's environmental pollution. But his wife doesn't have a clue about the scam.
The lovely, curvaceous Joey recovers her strength, mental and physical, at the island home of her gallant rescuer Mike, who is the victim of six failed marriages.Read more ›
I've read one previous Hiassen novel, STORMY WEATHER. I thought the characters were over-the-top, but I got this one for practically nothing so I thought I'd give him another try. I was pleasantly surprised in some respects. Joey Perrone had me at "hello" and her fifty-three-year-old rescuer and former cop Mick Stranahan had me hoping the old guy would get the girl. My favorite character, however, was homicide detective Karl Rolvaag (an inside joke for anyone from Minnesota) who hates Florida and its oppressive humidity and can't wait to get back to Minnesota. Rolvaag provides authentic humor as he owns a pair of albino pythons who drive his neighbors to distraction. At one point the pythons escape and Rolvaag is blamed for the disappearance of small pets in the neighborhood.
My problem with the book involves Chaz Perrone; he's just too stupid to be a viable threat. He's also a sex maniac who puts the make on practically every woman he meets. Viagra jokes ensue. There are so many of them that this sit-com effect becomes a subplot in the book.
Hiassen deserves kudos for his treatise on Everglades depletion, but he needs to sharpen his villains. I'm afraid he's planning on bringing Chaz Perrone back for an encore as he's still alive at the end of the book.
The latest Hiaasen antihero is Chaz Perrone who for no explicable reason throws his wife off an upper deck of a cruise ship in a vain attempt to kill her. His wife, Joey, survives and with the help of her rescuer and new friend, former cop and hermit Mick Stranahan, try to come up with answers while exacting their revenge.
So many authors try for humor. However, in many instances they try too hard and it becomes quite forced while the plot lags. Hiaasen is the measure of what ingredients go into making the best humorous novels in the mystery genre today. The strength of his work are several. First, the plot is always interesting comically reflecting abnormal behavior in what should be routine situations. In this case taking a cruise vacation. Second, the characters are truly outrageous and unforgettable. The wackiest in this story is Troy, a very large man hired to protect Chaz. He has a bullet stuck in his buttocks which causes him severe pain requiring him to steal pain medicine in the form of adhesive Band-Aids from local nursing homes. Chaz comes in at a close second. He is incredibly self centered worried more about his potency than the well being of his wife or girlfriend. He is a marine biologist who hates marine life as well as biology. Why he does it remains the mystery.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
My first Carl Hiaasen left me wanting to read more of his books.Published 10 days ago by Mary Asmus
It has you right from the beginning, right to end. Good read!!Published 17 days ago by Kenneth Alaspa
I'm one of those people that gets bored easily with books and rarely finish them. This one is a winner because it kept me guessing as I'm trying to quickly read and figure out... Read morePublished 1 month ago by ZenLife
This amusing tale is typical Hiaason; crusty characters, a good little storyline and punchy dialogue. I'm a fan & my expectations are always met by this writer.Published 2 months ago by Groucho
Hiaasen always keeps me entertained. This was a good, easy, fun, entertaining read.Published 2 months ago by Melanie