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Dance of the Reptiles: Rampaging Tourists, Marauding Pythons, Larcenous Legislators, Crazed Celebrities, and Tar-Balled Beaches: Selected Columns Paperback – January 28, 2014
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--Tampa Bay Times
“Hiaasen doesn’t really need to keep his day job as a columnist for the Miami Herald, but fortunately for the residents of Florida and for his vast readership, he has. . . . The state of Florida does not come off too well in Hiaasen’s columns, but one welcome positive of the Sunshine State is obvious—Carl Hiaasen.”
—The Free-Lance Star (Fredericksburg, VA)
"Hiaasen makes this parade of idiocy and avarice palatable with a kind of gallows humor. The more appalling the situation, the greater the potential for hilarity. . . . He is not so much stridently liberal as steadfastly sensible, his wit girded by palpable anger."
--The Post and Courier (Charleston)
"Hiaasen employs a seasoned bullshit detector that is among the most acute in American journalism. . . . If Florida is the poster child for a nation’s fiscal and political disintegration, Hiaasen is the state’s galloping knight (in)errant, slaying the dragons of ineptitude, arrogance and idiocy."
"Entertaining. . . . Hilarious and unnerving. . . for Hiaasen’s ability to awaken outrage and for his eye for oddity."
Praise for Carl Hiaasen's previous column collections, Paradise Screwed and Kick Ass
“Shows you that Hiaasen’s seemingly implausible fictional premises aren’t really far-fetched at all. He just knows Florida.”
“Reminiscent of the snarky, opinionated newspaper articles of the great Mark Twain, Hiaasen’s columns are finely crafted little gems.”
“Lively and well-reported . . . Illuminated by all the wit and keen descriptive powers of his fiction.”
Top Customer Reviews
Mr. Hiaasen's pieces have the feel of the late, great Chicago columnist Mike Royko (1932-1997.) Also like Mr. Royko, Mr. Hiaasen was born, raised and has lived his entire life in the state he very much loves. The dude is seriously pissed at witnessing the out-of-control growth, the rampant pollution, the horrific crimes and plethora of low-wage service jobs to support tourism as well as residential development. There are a healthy dose of pieces which focus on Florida, but national issues are also given attention. Some of the topics covered are the Terri Schiavo fiasco, Guantanamo, the sub-prime mortgage meltdown, Haitian refugees, Catholic sex abuse, Presidents Bush and Obama as well as Vice-President Cheney, illegal farm workers, George Zimmerman & Trayvon Martin, the NRA, the Iraq War, Florida's stand-your-ground law and the superficial media.
After reading a few columns, it doesn't take an Albert Einstein to realize Mr. Hiaasen is a unabashed liberal with major axes to grind. Most of his material is sarcastic in tone but supported by valid facts. I found only a few of the columns to be mediocre. Overall, the book is an educational and entertaining collection of pieces which were originally published from 2001 through 2012.Read more ›
It may not be true that these things could happen only in Florida as Hiaasen claims, but .... where else would tourists be offered (and pay good money for) scuba expeditions to hand feed sharks? He also describes the Florida Legislature's response to the case of a man who allegedly kidnapped a neighbor's pet goat and then accidentally strangled it during a carnal act. Then there is the "Nude Face-Eating Cannibal" who, he says, could only exist in Miami.
However, most of the articles are not about tabloid-style events. Hiaasen has principles. He is angry about threats to Florida's environment. He is angry about government corruption. He is angry about the NRA (although not about gun owners in general), about immigration policy, about greed, and hypocrisy, and ignorance, and the Bush administration. He is also in love, in love with his native state of Florida, and is an effective advocate for it. You can be chuckling one moment and wanting to tear out your hair the next.
Certainly, this collection will appeal most to people with similar viewpoints. Those who just want to laugh should be warned that a majority of the pieces have political content.
Rating: Four-star (I like it)
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Hiaasen is an environmental activist, so blend in your own predispositions about Florida's ecosystem in general.Published 17 days ago by Diana Clark
I am a greatful fan of Carl Hiaasen but this offering is poor at best. As someone wrote, reading "newspaper columns" and old columns at that, does not make for good reading... Read morePublished 2 months ago by GCC
he's a columnist for a liberal newspaper so some of the commemtary was not always to my liking. This is a compilation of some of his better columns. Read morePublished 3 months ago by agypsyfoot2
Having recently become a full time Floridian I can already identify.Published 3 months ago by Edmund Schroeder
Love Carl Hiaasen, whatever he writes rings true with this Floridian.Published 4 months ago by velvet hammer
Not my cup of tea. I understand the misuse of our environment even todayPublished 4 months ago by finn