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Skinny Dip (Skink Book 5) [Kindle Edition]

Carl Hiaasen
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (559 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $8.00
Kindle Price: $5.99
You Save: $2.01 (25%)
Sold by: Random House LLC

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Book Description

Chaz Perrone might be the only marine scientist in the world who doesn’t know which way the Gulf Stream runs. He might also be the only one who went into biology just to make a killing, and now he’s found a way–doctoring water samples so that a ruthless agribusiness tycoon can continue illegally dumping fertilizer into the endangered Everglades. When Chaz suspects that his wife, Joey, has figured out his scam, he pushes her overboard from a cruise liner into the night-dark Atlantic. Unfortunately for Chaz, his wife doesn’t die in the fall.

Clinging blindly to a bale of Jamaican pot, Joey Perrone is plucked from the ocean by former cop and current loner Mick Stranahan. Instead of rushing to the police and reporting her husband’s crime, Joey decides to stay dead and (with Mick’s help) screw with Chaz until he screws himself.

As Joey haunts and taunts her homicidal husband, as Chaz’s cold-blooded cohorts in pollution grow uneasy about his ineptitude and increasingly erratic behavior, as Mick Stranahan discovers that six failed marriages and years of island solitude haven’t killed the reckless romantic in him, we’re taken on a hilarious, full-throttle, pure Hiaasen ride through the warped politics and mayhem of the human environment, and the human heart.

BONUS: This edition includes an excerpt from Carl Hiaasen's Bad Monkey.


Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Charles "Chaz" Perrone fancies himself a take-charge kind of guy. So when this "biologist by default" suspects that his curvaceous wife, Joey, has stumbled onto a profitable pollution scam he's running on behalf of Florida agribusiness mogul Red Hammernut, he sets out right away to solve the problem--by heaving Joey off the deck of a luxury cruise liner and into the Atlantic Ocean, far from Key West. But--whoops!--Joey, a former swimming champ, doesn't drown. Instead, as Carl Hiaasen tells in his 10th adult novel, Skinny Dip, she makes her way back to shore, thanks both to a wayward bale of Jamaican marijuana and lonerish ex-cop Mick Stranahan (Skin Tight, 1989), and then launches a bogus blackmail campaign that's guaranteed to drive her lazy, libidinous hubby into a self-protective frenzy.

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 "God’s 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

From Publishers Weekly

Hiaasen's signature mix of hilariously over-the-top villains, lovable innocents and righteous indignation at what mankind has done to his beloved Florida wilderness is all present in riotous abundance in his latest. It begins with attractive heiress Joey Perrone being tossed overboard from a cruise ship by her larcenous husband, Chaz—not for her money, which she has had the good sense to keep well away from him, but because he fears she is onto his crooked dealings with a ruthless tycoon who is poisoning the Everglades. But instead of drowning as she's supposed to, Joey stays afloat until she is rescued by moody ex-cop Mick Stranahan, a loner who has also struck out in the marriage department. Then the two together, with the unwitting aid of a suspicious cop who can't pin the attempted murder on Chaz, hatch a sadistic plot to scare that "maggot" out of what little wit he has. Even Tool, a hulking brute sent by the tycoon to keep an eye on Chaz, eventually turns against him, and much of the fun is in watching the deplorable Chaz flounder further and further in the murk, both literally and figuratively (Chaz's job, as the world's unlikeliest marine biologist, involves falsifying water pollution levels for the tycoon). Hiaasen's books are so enjoyable it's always a sad moment when they end. In this case, however, sadness is mixed with puzzlement because the book seems to end in mid-scene, with Chaz in trouble again—but is it terminal? We thought at first there were some pages missing, but Knopf says that was the ending Hiaasen intended. Odd.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Product Details

  • File Size: 599 KB
  • Print Length: 512 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0375411089
  • Publisher: Vintage (July 13, 2004)
  • Sold by: Random House LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B000FC1RWI
  • Text-to-Speech: Not enabled
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  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #16,719 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
104 of 116 people found the following review helpful
Format:Hardcover
"Skinny Dip" may be the best beach read of the summer! Carl Hiaasen's satire and dark humor do wonders for crime fiction. He turns out the most extraordinarily eccentric characters: the stripper sister-in-law; a quirky environmentalist nephew; the has-been writer neighbor; evil scoundrels who are beyond redemption; Tool, a hulking but kinda lovable brute, who is the villain's heavy; a trashy mistress; and resilient victims who give as good as they get...or better! Set in South Florida, Hiaasen highlights the area's nuttiness and some of the weird folks who inhabit that corner of our country. Not one character could be considered "normal" in this novel, but behind strange facades beat good hearts.

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.
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82 of 97 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Mick Stranahan returns July 31, 2004
Format:Hardcover
Carl Hiaasen must surely be a rather demented person. Anyone who can come up with such wacky plots, not to mention the continually offbeat characters that polulate his novels is either a genius, or an idiot savant! His latest tickled my funny bone, as all of his books do. If South Florida is really anything like the place he writes about in his novels, I'm glad I've never spent any time visiting there. Even the throwaway characters are bizarre, as for example the parents of our story's heroine, who (the parents) died in a very unusual airplane crash. We have hairy strongarm men, redneck millionaires out to cheat the government, misplaced Norwegian policemen longing for snow, and a myriad of other folks crawling off the pages of this book. Of course, we welcome the return of Mick Stranahan, who was last seen in "Skin Tight", another of the author's wierd tales. I don't want to discuss the plot, because it is hilarious, but there are two captive pythons in the book, in addition to an elderly female cancer patient who turns a bad man into a somewhat good guy. Just one word of warning: if you go near the South Florida swamps, beware the Captain!!!
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Too many viagra jokes! December 19, 2004
Format:Hardcover
Taking a page from John D. MacDonald, Carl Hiaasen uses the Everglades as a backdrop for this comic novel. Marine scientist Chaz Perrone has been taking bribes from an agri-businessman to fake his biological tests of the great Florida swamp. On a second honeymoon cruise with his wife, who he feared had discovered his phony reports, he throws her overboard. What he hadn't counted on was that this champion swimmer would be able to make it to shore. The rest of the novel involves a revenge motif.

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.
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35 of 42 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars AN IRESISTIBLE BLEND OF MIRTH AND MURDER July 13, 2004
Format:Hardcover
Carl Hiaasen's tenth foray into an irresistible blend of mirth and murder is emblematic of his previous work (Sick Puppy, Lucky You, Strip Tease, Stormy Weather, Basket Case). In other words, Skinny Dip is a doozy! Satire, suspense and laugh out loud outre characters are this author's forte - lucky for us.
Reminiscent of moonlight over Miami our story opens on a cruise ship. Joey Perrone and her husband of two years, Chaz, are celebrating their anniversary on the Sun Duchess from out of Port Everglades bound for Puerto Rico, Nassau, and a private Bahamian island owned by the cruise ship company. Their voyage had a less than auspicious beginning as it was delayed for three hours because an angry raccoon was loose in the pastry kitchen. Once the varmint was dispatched they were off - and so was Joey.
After filling his wife's wine glass four time at dinner Chaz suggested a romantic stroll on deck. Their walk was short as once by the rail he pretended to drop their stateroom key. Bending over he didn't find the key but Joey's ankles which he grabbed, upending her into the black Atlantic.
As Joey (former champion swimmer at UCLA) fought the waves she thought, "I had a feeling he didn't love me anymore, but this is ridiculous."
Now, this is a girl who comes from sturdy stock. Her parents, Hank and Lana Wheeler, ran a casino resort in Nevada featuring a Russian dancing bear act overseen by "a semi-retired dominatrix who billed herself as Ursa Major." When one of the bears developed an impacted bicuspid the Wheelers offered to fly him to a periodontic veterinarian at Lake Tahoe. Better still they decided to go along with Ursa and the bear - bad choice. The jet crashed with no survivors, leaving Joey with a cool 4 million.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
1.0 out of 5 stars THANK GOODNESS,,,,THEY ARE ALL OFF MY SHELF!!!!!
This is my 6th, and, last, HIAASEN.
Mostly, they have not been ha-ha
funny, a great ball of jokes. Read more
Published 9 days ago by LENNY
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
I enjoyed Skinny Dip very much. Carl Hiaasen made me smile and LOL!
Published 9 days ago by RavishingR
4.0 out of 5 stars great Florida read
Amazing characters
Great localization
You will want to go visit the Everglades
Bring those medical patches and lots of jack Daniels
Published 11 days ago by Bernie Mitchell
5.0 out of 5 stars Book 5 - now I need to find the first four!
Clearly a fun read, and a stand alone book as I see it - though now I am off to find 1 through 5!
This book was like a mini vacation of characters and setups that had me... Read more
Published 18 days ago by Debs Stuff
5.0 out of 5 stars Love it!
Love love love Carl Hiaasen's style! This is one of his best, and the first one I read. Which had me reading more!!!
Published 18 days ago by Mary C.
4.0 out of 5 stars Fun but implausible mystery set in Florida Everglades
Fun but implausible mystery set in Florida Everglades. Great characters. Kept me turning the pages. Good rainy day or beach read.
Published 19 days ago by Blueskies
5.0 out of 5 stars Great read
Great book, quick,funny prefect summer reading. The characters are enjoyable. I enjoyed the Florida setting. I will definitely read more from this Author.
Published 20 days ago by beth zeamer
5.0 out of 5 stars Classic Great Read
As always, Hiaasen delivers. Re reading it after having read it when it first came out. Never gets old!
Published 22 days ago by panic
5.0 out of 5 stars jim garisson and the writers of "over the hedge " as my favorite...
carl hiaasen ranks directly behind robert heinlein , jim murray , rick reilly , tim dorsey , mark lane , jim garisson and the writers of "over the hedge " as my favorite... Read more
Published 23 days ago by joseph ross 111
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Great story . .. funny . .. light read . .
Published 28 days ago by MARY ANN S. PARKER
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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 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.

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