Although I have always admired Arte Johnson, and would love to listen to more books he's narrated, I am a firm fan of George Wilson and I've always thought he is the best narrator for any Hiaasen book. His dry reading, pace, and timing cannot be matched.
Hiassen is waaaaay too funny.
his books are always a romp, bringing up sometimes serious issues with wicked good humor. in this book, we get real estate development and Medicare fraud all wrapped up in the tale of a shark-chomped arm and a mysteriously not-really-grieving widow.
our hero, a cop who was demoted to food inspector for a rather nasty bit of knight-in-shining-armor-ness, desperately wants his detective job back before he dies of starvation: inspecting restaurants has definitely put him off his feed. along comes the aforementioned arm, and he's off on a not legally sanctioned investigation into the death of its former owner.
along the way he does a little civil disobedience vis. his new view-destroying next door neighbor, builder of a monstrosity intended only for a fast sale. i've no idea what kind of twisted mind Hiassen actually has, but i wouldn't want to try to build an ugly house next door to him.
the book is exceptionally paced, with a lot of balls kept masterfully in the air. it does get a little hard to track who's who (at least in the audio version)--there are a lot of characters--but entirely worth the effort.
the choice of narrator in the audio version seems a bit odd--Arte Johnson is a gravelly-voiced fellow, sounding much older than one imagines the protag to be, but he does a respectable job even with the women's voices.
The story was quick. It didn't bog down
The house next door that was being sold and the pranks he pulled to sabotage the selling
it's a fun book. You may not want to eat at restaurants later
More plot, humor and characters don't have depth
Carl Hiassen can be outrageously funny. Bad Monkey works to hard to be outrageous and funny, but fails.
Slow and hard to follow, not the typical Hiaasen.
I think so
Hard to say
I don't think the story was captivating and lacked the Hiaasen humor
Non Fiction Reader
I thought the humor forced, the characters unbelievable and the story farfetched. It read to me as if Hiaasen's publisher demanded something, anything, in writing and he wasn't in the "mood". I didn't laugh once...a slight snicker at times on a phrase. until I remembered that I read it in one of his previous books. Disappointing. Not up to Hiaasen's earlier works. Maybe working at the newspaper has caused him to loose some of his style.
The wacky characters! They all are whacked out crazy but in different ways.
He does characters so well that it would be difficult to pick a favorite. He gave each character a voice of their own.
While it is still not one of my favs from Carl Hiassen, I still loved the story. The man knows how to keep you entertained with all of his quirky characters and you can always count on him!
Terrible narrator! Couldn't stand listening to him for more than 10 minutes. I may try reading the book instead to see if the plot is in fact good and I was too distracted to notice. Bring back George Wilson please.
For starters, I'm a Carl Hiaasen fan. I have every book written by Carl as solo author, and love most of them. I loved this story. It follows the classic Hiaasen formula: disgruntled, alienated anti-hero who loves the landscape of Florida; smart, no-nonsense female lead; stupid criminals, one of whom becomes more and more disfigured through the story while they do everything in their limited intellectual powers to harm the environment, and a plot full of fun twists and turns. Everything you want from Carl is here, plus a wonderful cast of secondary characters, all suffering from various states of delusion, incompetence and (at times) outright stupidity. Everything we love about Carl Hiaasen is in this book.
Arte Johnson is not the best narrator (my favorites for Hiaasen are George Newborn, Hiaasen himself (he did a bang-up job on Basket Case), and believe it or not, James Van Der Beek), but he is also not the worst. A number of people savaged his narration - it's ok, not terrible. Carl deserves better, but I still loved the book, so that means the narrator did not get in the way.
I say, pick it up. It's Carl. How can you go wrong?