- Hardcover: 336 pages
- Publisher: St. Martin's Press; First Edition edition (July 5, 2016)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1250071208
- ISBN-13: 978-1250071200
- Product Dimensions: 6.3 x 1.1 x 9.4 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 148 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #332,939 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Oh, Florida!: How America's Weirdest State Influences the Rest of the Country Hardcover – July 5, 2016
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"Painstakingly reported and researched...compulsively readable. As much as his book is a celebration of Florida, it is also a celebration of journalism."―The New York Times
"An extraordinary catalog of 'weird Florida'...the definitive guide.[T]his fast-roving narrative has a rollicking pace that readers will enjoy."―The Los Angeles Times
"Craig Pittman delivers a convincing case that Florida’s reputation for off-the-chain zaniness is not only historically accurate but an evolving carnival of delight. Pittman has deep roots in the state, and his joyous deconstruction is offered with the humor, zest and storytelling skill of a roomful of uncles telling tall tales at a family funeral. The stories [are] packed with all manner of hilarious factoids and unlikely anecdotes."―The Washington Post
"Hilarious."―The Financial Times
"At points, the book is funny, thought-provoking, and infuriating, sometimes all at once, and it’s a credit to Pittman and his encyclopedic knowledge of the state and its history that readers accept the shockingly disturbing and frustrating alongside the shockingly silly. Oh, Florida! reminds us to always look beneath the surface; there could be crocs or treasure to be found."―San Francisco Book Review
"Oh, Florida! is hilarious, creepy, and sobering. Craig Pittman makes the compelling argument that all of America is being warped by Florida's off-the-chart weirdness, which we eagerly export. This book should be required reading for anyone who's ever thought about moving down here, with or without a concealed weapons permit."―Carl Hiaasen, New York Times bestselling author of Bad Monkey and Skinny Dip
"Craig Pittman is not only a brilliant humorist, he's a terrific historian and arbiter of all things Florida, past and present. Oh, Florida! is everything you hope it will be, yet so much more!"―Gilbert King, author of the Pulitzer Prize-winning Devil in the Grove
"Craig Pittman's Oh, Florida is the definitive compendium of Sunshine State weirdness, properly placing everything from the method of Ponce de Leon's demise through Linda Lovelace's contribution to film and the National Enquirer's journalistic acumen along the continuum of significant world affairs. What the Periodic Table of Elements is to science and the Junior Woodchuck Manual is to scoutcraft, Pittman's collection is to understanding the hotbed of the goony, the astoundingly tasteless, and the impossibly strange."―Les Standiford, author of Last Train to Paradise and the John Deal mysteries
"Pittman's bone-deep knowledge of Florida helps make the airtight case that weirdness has officially passed citrus as our state’s major export crop -- and why the rest of the country should stop laughing and be very afraid."―Tim Dorsey, author of Coconut Cowboy and Florida Roadkill
"Craig Pittman digs for stories in the shifting sands and shifty characters of Florida and unearths gems and surprises on every page. Oh, Florida! is at once hilarious and full of heart. Masterful storytelling and research, layered with a strong sense of justice and a native Floridian’s born irony, make Oh, Florida! much more than a hashtag. Whether you’re dreaming of a sunny vacation, looking down at us in horror, or lucky enough to live here, Pittman brings perfect clarity to this flawed paradise." – Cynthia Barnett, author of Rain: A Natural and Cultural History.
"Florida, that sandy, sunny, coda hanging off the gothic Deep South, is the strangest of American states, half-land, half-water, all fantasy. Nobody knows the dubious history, fractious present and overall oddity of the place better than Craig Pittman. He writes like a trippy combination of Carl Hiaasen and Gail Collins, sharp as a stingray's tail, deep as a first magnitude spring and seriously funny. Oh, Florida! is a smart, sly wild ride of a book."―Diane Roberts, author of Dream State
"Whether or not you've seen albino scorpions big as lobsters drop from a loft in your mom's garage or waited out a hurricane in the Lightning Capital of the World, you need Craig Pittman's brilliant tribute to the Sunshine State. Rich in detail, from historic and political to criminal, from comic to bizarre, Oh, Florida! is swift, absorbing - and funny. It’s perfect for Floridians, snowbirds, tourists, in fact, for everybody out there. You'll see."― Kit Reed's novels include THINNER THAN THOU and WHERE. Her next, MORMAMA, ends with a sinkhole in Jacksonville
"Oh, Florida! brings readers in for laughs, but then gets them to stick around for the tale of a maddening, fascinating and wonderful place."―The Tampa Bay Times
"Part travelogue, history, and memoir, it’s altogether best understood as the author’s quest to establish a Unified Theory of Florida’s Weirdness, and to make the argument that none of this is new. It’s an impressively difficult task, but it’s also one that Pittman, a veteran reporter and a Floridian by birth, is supremely qualified to undertake."―The Millions
"[A] unique and charming book that is part history, part travelogue, and part memoir,An inviting tour through Florida's personality and the colorful characters that make it up."―Kirkus Reviews
"This book is a fun romp through Florida's weirdness, wackiness, and wonder. This is must-read fare for readers of SCENE who can appreciate more than most what author Roxane Gay once claimed: "Florida is a strange place. I love it here, and I love how nothing makes sense."―Scene magazine
"This entertaining book will amuse and astonish Floridians and anybody interested in the absurdity of the Sunshine State or human nature in general."―Library Journal
"Truth may or may not be stranger than fiction, but at least in Florida, it's often funnier. Craig Pittman captures this with the skill of a serious reporter who recognizes a good story when he sees one - which is all he needed for a wonderfully entertaining look at our state."―The Tallahassee Democrat
About the Author
CRAIG PITTMAN is the New York Times bestselling author of Oh, Florida! and three other books as well as an award-winning journalist. He is a native Floridian and in 2013 wrote a popular blog for Slate called "Oh, Florida! " which became the genesis for this book, and which led to his appearance on TV and radio discussing why Florida is so odd and entertaining. He lives in St. Petersburg with his wife and two children.
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The book contains eighteen chapters about different times, history, politics, hurricanes, weather, land plus so much more. Craig Pittman is a journalist, a reporter and a columnist for the Tampa Bay Times. He grew up in Pensacola, his wife in Sarasota. So many Floridians have moved to this state from other places. This state is a melting pot of people from other states, Canada, the Caribbean, French speaking Haitians, Cubans, others parts of the Americas, plus Europeans, Africans, others. Many different religions, Santeria being one.
The quiet area around Lake Wales is nice, but the state is growing too fast, too much. The Everglades is being invaded by people building homes. Tourists come to Florida to see a place so different than their own home states. And to enjoy the warm weather. The Everglades looks so much like the earth must have looked before mankind came into being. Alligators, an ancient race of dinosaurs, still are so much in evident and swim around in the swamps. They belong here and have lived here long before people did.
I learned much from Mr. Pittman's writing, so much about events I knew nothing about. Mr Pittman goes deep into his writing about Florida. He writes about how Disney World came into being, tells much about the politics of Florida. There are stories about crimes and criminals, education, segregation, plus so much more.
This book is great, tells it like it is, humorous, serious, laugh out loud, but with many reasons to think.
This is a good book for anyone who wants to know more about Florida. Mr Pittman covers much. A land of summer, of tourists, nightclubs, restaurants and water, water all around. It does attract strange people.
This is not a book full of goofy Florida stories, although there are plenty of those. It tells these stories from the Bad Old Days and links them with others of more recent times drawing themes and lessons from them. It is shocking to see how Senator Cruz or Governor Bush, two names n the news now, continue long traditions of folly that began in the Civil War era.
Many of Florida's problems come from a frontier mentality and the fact most Floridians are from someplace else. The population lacks an 'institutional memory' so to speak. Folks who are not really from Florida see little reason to demand and pay for government services like health care, decent prisons or schools.
Still there is wisdom in Florida too. Lots of smart cookies are from the Sunshine State, and good ideas like Sunshine Laws come from there.
So it lets us see how Florida reflects the best and the worst of the US. Educational and amusing.
I knew another man, a folk singer, who erected a giant statue of a phallus on his front lawn. He was arrested when neighborhood children were found dancing around it.
Neither story made this book. These stories are even more outrageous. Toward the end, the author gets serious and tells the most important Florida stories, those about racism. It's an excellent balance to the portrait of a state that influences so many of us, for better or worse.
He gives plenty of examples of the daft stuff that happens in Florida -- from crazy visitors, to locals, to animals, to the legislature and the various governors. It's a book that will give you a lot of laughs at the craziness of it all but it will also scare the bejesus out of you to know of the things that have happened and continue to happen legislatively and politically in the state. It's often a funny book but with a dark, serious side too so don't expect it to all be a barrel of laughs like a Dave Barry book.
If you've lived in Florida, you will read it and shake your head in agreement because you'll have witnessed much of it yourself. If you are thinking of moving to Florida, read it and think about it and ask yourself if you can deal with what will greet you when you live there.