No matter what you heard or thought about the movie version of Strip Tease, forget it. Film simply can’t catch the layers of humor, satire, and imagination that author Carl Hiaasen creates in each of his novels.
When a deranged Florida congressman falls for a gorgeous but virtuous stripper, he dedicates himself to pursuing this tasselled princess. Not only is she a real beauty, she’s a damsel in distress. The effects of his quest will ripple through the spotlights of the strip joint, the sugar cane fields of south Florida, and some powerful political careers.
Fueled by innocent lust and dizzy miscalculations, this story will keep you howling with surprise. George Wilson’s colorful narration is the perfect vehicle for Carl Hiaasen’s twisted fairy tale.
©1993 Carl Hiaasen (P)1998 Recorded Books, LLC
“Rough, raucous, and filled with lovable losers, Strip Tease is a caper novel for readers not afraid to laugh out loud.” (People)
“Reading a Hiaasen book is always a high-speed boat ride where laughter can turn to horror and disaster at any moment. Hearing the story aloud adds a dose of realism and sensation; these characters really could be driving around the streets …” (AudioFile)
The main plot revolves around a white powder that is worth billions of dollars, enriches a few magnates at the expense of the underpaid migrant workers who harvest and process it, and for which powerful men will kill anyone who threatens profits. Sugar, of course.
Erin is a former FBI agent who now works at a strip club. She has a crazy meth-head ex-husband who managed to get custody of their daughter after he brought the Bible-thumping judge to her place of employment. Hizzoner declared Erin an unfit mother, and is now a regular at the club.
One night, a libidinous Congressman goes into a blackout-drunk rage onstage with Erin, nearly clubs another patron to death, and has to be dragged out by long-suffering "fixer," who then spends the rest of the book trying to cover up the Congressman's infelicities before an important vote on sugar subsidies.
The Congressman falls in love with Erin (a phenomenon she's not unused to, working at a strip club), but his exposing himself to her (literally and figuratively) puts his political career in danger, and the men who have bought and paid for him can't have that. Erin is smart enough to take care of herself, but also smart enough to realize she's in danger and just being smart and competent isn't enough against the power of Washington lobbyists who are willing to erase inconvenient little people. Fortunately, she also has her biker bouncer buddy, Chad, and a police sergeant who takes an interest in the case after his fishing vacation is spoiled by his son discovering a "floater" who happens to be one of the inconvenient little people.
Like Hiaasen's other novels, Strip Tease tucks trenchant social criticism and cynical political commentary into a colorful cast of weirdos, crazies, working class folks, conniving villains, lecherous creeps, smart chicks, decent cops, corrupt politicians, scheming ex-cons with hearts of gold, and half a dozen subplots that all somehow manage to drive the main plot forward in clever ways. There is the bouncer who is perpetually foiled in his schemes to retire on the proceedings of a lawsuit from a cockroach found in his yogurt, the strip club owner perpetually in labor disputes with his dancers, who range from empty-headed bimbos to very smart women trying to get by; there are shysters and fixers and dirty politics galore. And it's very funny. Erin herself never falls into any kind of stereotype as a stripper, and while the villains are a little bit out of Central Casting, who doesn't love a dimwitted, lecherous Congressman getting what's coming to him?
A day without sunshine is like, well, night.
Strip Tease is not bad. It did not take to much to become an improvement from the movie. A typical mix of Hiaasen's crazy Florida rednecks, political buffoonery, and high jinks surrounding a mother who has gone to work as a stripper in order to keep her daughter away from her druggie husband, only to have a corrupt Judge turn her employment into rational for putting her child with her husband. I did not like this as much as much as I have enjoyed tales of Skink, but still good.
I felt the need to review after listening to 100's of books. This is my one of my top 10 . It is a combination of many authors I love! In a good way! If you are a Lee child or James Patterson fan that likes humor and a great story.. It's a must
I never saw the movie, so I had no expectations going into the book. This seemed such a stretch to me; a very '80s storyline. Super intelligent female, down on her luck, saves the town/world/whatever. Yadda yadda yawn.
47 is the real answer
The story was great. Characters were great. The humor was good. What I didn't really care for was the narrator. This could've been made much better with better editing. You could frequently hear pages turning and his mouth popping as he breathed. Aside from these things it was a worthwhile read. I am looking forward to watching the movie version of this book.
Carl Hiaasen always brings a smile to me while I listen. His quirky characters and plot lines are always fun. Strip Tease is lives up to those expectations. Will be listening to it again.
classic Carl. choosing another book with a different reader. This is my first attempt listening rather than reading this author who has been one of my faves for years.
This book is ridiculous. I'd always heard good things about it but it's beyond annoying and the character of Erin Grant is so obviously written by a man.
She's a stripper with no emotional issues or drug problem, no, she just wants her baby back. She works with a cast of zany characters and is clever (but not that clever) yet vulnerable with a child like innocence that makes every man want to come to her rescue...
I've know my fair share of " sex workers" none of them resembled Erin Grant. She is just another manic pixie dream girl, in a g-string. And don't even get me start in the politics of the book. Which seem to be voting is for suckers and politics are for psychos, which is all fine and good if you think there's an alternative. However, the author doesn't offer one. Apparently, we should all just giving a ____ and start shaking it to Van Morrison.
Seriously, a stripper who loves to dance to Van Morrison and Jackson Brown in the 90s? She couldn't be anymore a figment of an old white dude's fantasies if the setting was the inside of the author's brain. So, so, stupid.
A fascinating story about lust, greed, and political power, not to mention nude dancing, all told in a delightful humorous fashion expertly by the narrator George Wilson. He kept me listening to every word and held my interest up to the end of the story. It is a humorous look at human weakness and the plight of a dancer caught up in it so she can get her daughter away from her ex husband an addict and small time thief of wheel chairs, using their daughter to pull off his thievery. The story takes you through the plight of nude dancers and corruption. Told in a light and easy tongue in cheek fashion.
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