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Stormy Weather Paperback – March 1, 2001

303 customer reviews
Book 3 of 6 in the Skink Series

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Hiaasen's latest madcap romp across southern Florida presents an apocalyptic panorama of the region in the wake of a storm much like Hurricane Andrew. Transforming a suburban sprawl into a lawless frontier, the hurricane puts on a collision course a demented cast of tourists, scam artists and eccentrics: New York ad exec Max Lamb, who decides to spice up his Orlando honeymoon by taking his bride and his camcorder into the teeth of the storm; Skink, the swamp-dwelling former Florida governor (last seen in Native Tongue) who kidnaps Max in an effort to teach him to respect the land; Edie March, a seductive grifter who hatches a half-baked personal-injury scam with the help of Snapper, a sadistic ex-con; and Augustine, the altruistic son of a jailed drug smuggler, who juggles skulls to relax. Also mobilized are a mob enforcer with a penchant for crucifixions, a voodoo-practicing building inspector and a number of menacing escaped animals. In his sixth novel, less a straightforward thriller than a sprawling slice of life, Hiaasen dexterously resolves his many subplots, uniting the principals in a climactic chase across the swampland?while adding sting to his perpetual theme: the unrelenting depredation of Florida's cultural and natural heritage. 200,000 first printing.
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal

Take one devastating Florida hurricane, a New York couple on their honeymoon, a skull-juggling but sensitive guy, one former governor turned Everglades hermit, two small-time con artists, a corrupt building inspector, two state troopers, a hapless insurance agent, and what do you have? The recipe for Hiaasen's (Native Tongue, LJ 9/1/91) sixth novel, a delightful romp that is by turns hilarious and moving. These strange characters maneuver through a broken landscape as if born to it, and the author's control of both style and narrative keeps the novel from slipping into silliness. The crimes plotted are minor aspects of a fiction that explores the intersection of the grotesque and the human. Buy wherever good fiction is read.
-?A.J. Wright, Univ. of Alabama, Birmingham
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Grand Central Publishing; Reprint edition (March 1, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0446677167
  • ISBN-13: 978-0446677165
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 1.1 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (303 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #38,238 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

169 of 173 people found the following review helpful By Rob H on February 17, 2005
Format: Mass Market Paperback
If you believe that there's a little good in everyone, then Stormy Weather and Carl Hiaasen are not for you.

Stormy Weather is classic Hiaasen. His writing is so sarcastic and unrestrained by reality that it reminds me a little of Douglas Adams (Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy) or Neil Stevenson (Snow Crash). Interestingly, these are science fiction authors and Hiaasen doesn't write science fiction, but, like these science fiction writers, Hiaasen's writing is modern and clever and his imagination knows no limits. His books are parodies of human nature, especially greed and stupidity, sort of like Voltaire's Candide. After painting such surreal pictures of a cast of very selfish characters, often criminals, Hiaasen then draws upon some Dante as he assigns the characters to their inevitable and well-earned unique circles of hell (that's usually in Florida involving water, alligators, or at least a storm). It says something about a writer when his best known hero is a one-eyed crazy man who lives in the everglades but used to be the governor of the great state of Florida.

If you like the sarcastic social comedy of George Carlin, the ironic wit of Steven Wright, and the slapstick of Peter Sellers, then you will love Carl Hiaasen's Stormy Weather. If you find Carlin offensive, Wright unfunny, and Sellers overrated, then you're going to hate Carl Hiaasen.

If you're new to Hiaasen's books, Stormy Weather is a good place to start. My favorite Hiaasen books are: Strip Tease, 1993; Stormy Weather, 1995; Lucky You, 1997; Sick Puppy, 2000; and Skinny Dip, 2004.
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28 of 28 people found the following review helpful By Dennis Keithly on December 20, 2005
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Given the recent hurricanes Katrina and Rita that hit the United States in the past year, 'Stormy Weather,' by Carl Hiaasen, seemed like a timely read. This novel tells a story of tourists, native Floridians, scam artists, and insurance adjusters as they interact in Miami after a Hurricane strikes.

Max and Bonnie Lamb are honeymooning in Disney World when the hurricane hits Florida. Bonnie just wants to resume the honey moon festivities, but her husband, Max, an advertising rep, sees an opportunity to impress his bosses and drags Bonnie down to Miami to get footage of the destruction carved out by the storm.

Edie Marsh has been roving Florida in search of a Kennedy. Her plan has been to seduce one, and then blackmail them on her way to easy street. The plan never bears fruit. After the hurricane, she sees an opportunity to work another scam and sets off for Miami with a partner named Snapper, who acquired his nickname after an unfortunate childhoot incident left him with a deformed jaw. Edie's plans go awry when Snapper turns out to be more difficult to handle than she thought.

Augustine took a plane trip one day to discover he had spent months in a coma after the plane he was riding crashed. He also found wealth in the form of an insurance settlement. He no longer works, and spends his time dating the wrong women and juggling human skulls. Just before the hurricane strikes, he learns he had inherited his uncles exotic animal farm. After the hurricane, he has a problem: although the weather passed, the animals are loose.

Finally, there is Skink. This crazy wild man has great teeth and a protective streak for Florida's wilderness. He trusts one man, Jim Tile (one of Florida's few black highway patrolmen).
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29 of 31 people found the following review helpful By Elderbear VINE VOICE on April 11, 2001
Format: Mass Market Paperback
After weeks of overtime I escaped to the Sierra Foothills, hosted to a relaxing Thanksgiving weekend with Stormy Weather (thanks Bill & Karen!). The greatest disappointment of this book was that it ended before the weekend & I had no sequel!
"On August 23, the day before the hurricane struck, Max and Bonnie Lamb awoke early, made love twiece and rode the shuttle bus to Disney World." So begins this marvelously improbably tale which weaves together the paths of newlyweds, cons, thugs, and a living-off-the-land, scraggly haired ex-governor. Easy to pick up and slide into, difficult to put down, this romp into Hurricane Andrew's wake tosses quirky characters into chaos. Not as extreme as Hitchiker's Guide to the Galaxy (Adams), more of a down-home Good Omens (Pratchett & Gaiman) without devils or angels.
Character development is not intense, but the contrived situations that bring those characters to light actually seem plausible. Fewer laughs in this book and more subconscious chuckles. If you want something traditional & predictable, leave this one on the shelf and go buy Grisham or Clancy. But if a road-kill scavenging, toad-licking ex-governor piques your curiousity (and he's a much better guardian of the land than our current "president"), grant serious consideration to this book!
Five stars for creating an extremely improbable story and making it seem as natural as a tale about the Springfield 'burbs! Five stars for fun. A truly amusing diversion.
(If you'd to comment on this review, please click the "about me" link above & email me. Thanks!)
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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Matthew Farrell on September 19, 2008
Format: Paperback
This is the second Hiaasen novel I've read, and based on the word-of-mouth about him in general and the reviews for this book in particular, I felt especially let down. My giving it 3 stars is actually generous.

Perhaps the book was just built up too much, or maybe I'm just jaded, but this novel never really engaged me. I could have put it down after 100 pages and not felt bad or any lack of "closure" for not knowing what happens. Then again, I enjoy "quirky" and "off-beat" literature, and this struck me as a mainstream book **trying** to be off-beat for mainstream readers. Maybe I just have a higher threshold for such stuff.

There are several reasons why this didn't click with me. First and foremost, almost every character in here annoyed me. Let me be clear and clarify/contrast that: a well-written book designs antagonists that we are obviously not supposed to like and secretly hope they get a "come-uppance". That isn't what happened here: everyone (heroes and villains) were simply irritating--without actually being **interesting**, and I simply wished they'd go away so someone more interessting would come along.

Going hand-in-hand with that, the antagonists consistently suffered from "willful stupidity" -- they would do dumb things that were obviously dumb and served no purpose except plot convenience, because if they had a few more brain cells to rub together they wouldn't be in whatever situation there was and the book would grind to a halt. That may or may not be lazy writing, but to me it's certainly frustrating: I enjoy my villains to have a mind and a master plan that's interesting.

Lastly, the book is about 100 pages longer than it needs to be, and since it had already worn out its welcome by that point it seemed especially tedious to me.
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