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Nature Girl Paperback – October 30, 2007
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Top Customer Reviews
Nature Girl is Honey Santana, a female version of Twilly Spreey (who Hiaason featured in Sick Puppy). Santana is divorced, raising a precocious 12 year old son Fry, and apparently suffers from bi-polar disorder. Santana's husband, Skinner, still loves his former wife and tries to run interference for her. She is known to do outrageous things "trying to demand more decency and consideration from her fellow human beings." When a hapless telephone solicitor, Boyd Shreave, interrupts her dinner time with her son and then calls her a rude name, Santana hatches a plot to teach Shreave some civility.
Santana lures Boyd and his girlfriend to the Florida wilderness and Ten Thousand Islands. Little does she know that the cast of characters that will encounter on Dismal Key. They include Sammy Tigertail (a Seminole Indian trying to hide out from the law and who hears the voices of a dead man), Gillian LaCroix (a college co-ed who wants to be taken hostage by Tigertail), Eugenie Fonda (Shreave's reluctant girlfriend), Theordore Dealey (a PI who has been hired by Shreave's wife to get incriminating photos), and Louis Piejack (an obnoxious sexual predator stalking Santana). As Dealey observes, "I wish I hadn't taken this god-damned case--I've never run up against so many card-carrying fruitballs in all my life." It's a cast that only Hiaason could produce.
But through the comic scenes, there is much to be serious about in Nature Girl. Hiaasen is anti-development, anti-tourist and pro-environment.Read more ›
This tale is entertaining and intelligent as always in Hiaasen's approach to his anti-development message. Hiaasen delivers his message in an entertaining intricate story. This is not his best novel but when you are talking Hiaasen they are all good, this is just a little less great than his others.
I found this book to be less philosophical and deep than some of his others. There wasn't an environmental "bad guy" out to destroy habitats to build a cheap housing development, though there definitely were a few bad guys who certainly didn't appreciate their surroundings. It was a lot more fun and quirky, and less of a morality tale.
Definitely a must-read for fans of Hiaasen. And if you're up for a crazy ride that's part mystery, part satire, and pure comedy, give it a whirl. I actually bought Brideshead Revisited to reread after Hiaasen was compared to Waugh - another classic satirist worth reading.
Exhibit A is Honey Santana, our alleged protagonist. Frankly, she's very hard to like. Honey is irresponsible, unthinking, self-centered, self-righteous, and manipulative, as well as being a liar and a cheat. Yeah, she's passionate about the environment. Big deal.
Exhibit B is Boyd Shreave, our nominal antagonist. Initially, Boyd isn't much less sympathetic than Honey. Okay, he's a shlub. Okay, he's insensitive and self-centered. That doesn't make him a villain. Worse, Honey decides to unload on him before she knows anything about his character. What if Boyd had turned out to be a poor hard-working decent guy who had to go into telemarketing to support a sick family member? Would Hiassen still expect us to admire Honey?
As if to make up for these lacks, Hiaasen introduces a second antagonist *and* a second protagonist. Piejack, the secondbad guy, is a Hiassen stock character: the Sleazy Pharmacollogically-Enhanced Maimed Delusional Whacko. Unfortunately, he doesn't show up until around page 130, which is much too late. Whereas Sammy Tigertail isn't much use, protagonist-wise, since all he really wants is to be left alone.
This illustrates the other major weakness of _Nature Girl_. A strong story requires a protagonist who wants something, and who has to overcome some obstacle(s) to get it. (That's practically the definition of "plot," after all.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
If you can't say anything good you shouldn't say anything. It occupied a couple days at the beach.Published 3 days ago by William E. Kerr
I was already a fan of Carl Hiaasen when I ordered this. I like the way he writes, his characters are interestingly fun, and the setting is in Florida, where I lived for 30 years. Read morePublished 5 days ago by J. Singletary
Typical laugh out loud Hiaasen! Multiple story lines that all intertwine in a riotous fashion.Published 2 months ago by wvdeedee
Totally recognizable as a Hiaasen take down of grifters, grafters, lowlifes and other spoilers who abound in the author's home state of Florida, this novel doesn't have the... Read morePublished 2 months ago by Blue in Washington
I usually enjoy Hiaason, but not this one. It felt like he kept trying to pull a story together, but it feels a lot like a run-on sentence that never quite ends up meaning... Read morePublished 3 months ago by Larry Carsman