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Strip Tease Paperback – March 1, 2005

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Editorial Reviews Review

At the Eager Beaver, a topless bar in Fort Lauderdale, former FBI clerk Erin Grant dances nightly to pay for legal fees in her custody fight for her young daughter. There David Dilbeck, a U.S. Congressman owned by the state's sugar interests is recognized by a regular who is infatuated with Erin and initiates a blackmail plan to influence her court case. The resulting mayhem, occurring in election year, involves machinations up to the highest state level, a poignant custody battle and murder. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

From Publishers Weekly

Inventive blackmail schemes, grisly murders, power politics, greed, revenge and sex all figure in Hiaasen's ( Native Tongue ) latest comic crime novel. At the Eager Beaver, a topless bar in Fort Lauderdale, former FBI clerk Erin Grant dances nightly to pay for legal fees in her custody fight for her young daughter. There David Dilbeck, a poorly disguised, somewhat kinky and imbecilic U.S. Congressman owned by the state's sugar interests, is recognized by a sharp-eyed regular who, infatuated with Erin, initiates a blackmail plan meant to influence her court case. The resulting mayhem, occuring in an election year, involves machinations up to the highest state level, most of which are orchestrated by Dilbeck's arrogant, sleazy lawyer, and leads to an escalating body count that ends in a frenzied revenge caper arranged by the resourceful Erin deep in some sugarcane fields. Dead-on dialogue ("My boots are full of Vaseline," says Dilbeck one night, his only other clothing a black cowboy hat) and clearly limned characters from society's fringes--notably the taciturn, inventive Eager Beaver bouncer; a Cuban cop who works the case off hours; Erin's psychopathic ex, and his sister who raises hybrid wolves outside her double-wide trailer--round out this somewhat coincidence-ridden but consistently entertaining, warm-blooded tale. 60,000 first printing; Literary Guild alternate; author tour.
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 464 pages
  • Publisher: Grand Central Publishing; d edition (March 1, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 044669567X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0446695671
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 1.2 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (166 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #515,012 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

53 of 57 people found the following review helpful By Chapulina R on December 24, 2000
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I've read all of Carl Hiaasen's books, and although my favorites are "Native Tongue" and "Skin Tight", I choose to review "Strip Tease" because the film did not represent it very well. In all fairness to Demi and company, I don't think Hollywood could ever do Hiaasen's dark humor justice. By now everyone knows the plot line of "Strip Tease": Erin the reluctant stripper becomes involved with smarmy politicians, environmental despoilers, and slimeball ex and inlaws in her struggle for custody of her daughter. Sexploitation, murder, and blackmail ensue, but with the help of a good-hearted Cuban cop and a deranged but devoted doorman, our protagonist prevails. As in all Hiaasen's tales, the climax is upbeat for the heroes while the villains reap their twisted, greatly-deserved kharma. For those not already familiar with Hiaasen, reading this book is a good way to begin the experience. The characters are a little less wacky, the plot a little less zany than his other novels'. But the writing style is every bit as riotous. Warning: Hiaasen is addictive! Like tattoos and chocolate-cordial cherries, you can't stop with just one. And after the insanity of the recent Elian' Gonzales tug-of-war and the rigged election, the reader will realize where Hiaasen dredges up the loony characters who populate his Florida settings. But his genuine love for his home state -- along with his genuine frustration over the rape of its ecosystem -- is evident in all his writings. Those who appreciate Hiaasen's crusade against Florida's political corruption and development & tourism industries will enjoy reading his fine little non-fiction rant, "Team Rodent: How Disney Devours the World".
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
Anyone who has ever traveled to south Florida has probably noticed an abundance of establishments offering entertainment by nude or partially unclothed women. Carl Hiaasen takes the establishment of the strip club as the center for his hilarious look at the ways that men and women manipulate each other, and how politicians get away with murder.

Although Mr. Hiaasen notes that the story is all fictional, he does remind the readers that the accounts of topless creamed corn wrestling are based on fact.

The central puzzle behind this book's story is how an intelligent, hard-working staff member of the FBI ends up as an exotic dancer in a strip club. That's a tale that will unfold in all its gory detail as you laugh your way through this hilarious book.

As the book opens, a bachelor party on the eve of the wedding goes horribly wrong. As the groom clutches onto the unclothed Erin Grant at the Eager Beaver, a wild man jumps onto the stage and begins belting the groom over the head with a champagne bottle. In the ensuing mess, the wild man escapes. As his car speeds away, it turns out that the attacker doesn't even know what he did . . . and doesn't want to know. Since the attacker is local Congressman David Lane Dilbeck, it looks like he'll need a political fixer to help him out. But some things cannot be fixed as easily as others. And the trail of deception heads off in a totally unexpected and deadly course.

The targets for satire are mostly among the patrons, managers and bouncers of the strip clubs as well as those who try to help them take advantage of others. But there's also a very mixed up husband who you will never forget.

This book could have easily slid into a sort of quasi-pornography but Mr.
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27 of 31 people found the following review helpful By Allen Smalling TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on March 26, 2001
Format: Mass Market Paperback
of "stripping" and "teasing" if by stripping you mean sex and violence and "teasing" you mean satire and Mr. Hiaasen's legendary caustic political wit. (If Congress ever takes meaningful action to reduce or eliminate the federal "giveaway" sugar price-support subsidies to the big growers, the best-informed average citizens outside of the Sunshine State will undoubtedly be Hiaasen fans who read this book.) But Mr. H. says that the Latino-American sugar barons portrayed in this book are just a figment of his warped imagination. Well, his imagination may be warped, but it tickles me.
This just may be Hiaasen's very best novel. The pacing is nice and zippy. Its story line has all the elements in the right degree: I mentioned the humor and the savagery, and the characters are priceless, including a bouncer who "has a high threshold" and inhales cigar smoke when he lights up, thinking that everyone else does. To an unusual degree with this frequently cynical author, the guilty suffer and the good are rewarded, though sometimes in unorthodox ways. I do agree with earlier critics who found the lady stripper a bit too good to be true. If you can spell, turn on a computer and look good in pumps, a legal secretary earns just as much money, has the drop on the best day-care centers and is about eleventy-seven times more likely to get home in one piece. I just have to forgive Hiaasen his title character's chosen profession; as the folks in the English departments do, write it off as a "convention of the genre," which is academese for "make believe it's so or else there ain't no story."
This is an excellent starter book for neophyte Hiaasen fans (notice I assume that anyone who picks up his books will become a fan); though if you prefer to work up the pace slowly you might consider the earlier, more leisurely "Double Whammy."
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