Once a hotshot investigative reporter, Jack Tagger now bangs out obituaries for a South Florida daily, “plotting to resurrect my newspaper career by yoking my byline to some famous stiff.” Jimmy Stoma, the infamous front man of Jimmy and the Slut Puppies, dead in a fishy-smelling scuba “accident”, might be the stiff of Jack’s dreams - if only he can figure out what happened.
Standing in the way are (among others) his ambitious young editor, who hasn’t yet fired anyone but plans to “break her cherry” on Jack; the rock star’s pop-singer widow, who’s using the occasion of her husband’s death to re-launch her own career; and the soulless, profit-hungry owner of the newspaper, whom Jack once publicly humiliated at a stockholders’ meeting.
With clues from the dead rock singer’s music, Jack ultimately unravels Jimmy Stoma’s strange fate - in a hilariously hard-won triumph for muckraking journalism, and for the death-obsessed obituary writer himself.
“Always be halfway prepared” is Jack Tagger’s motto - and it’s more than enough to guarantee a wickedly funny, brilliantly entertaining novel from Carl Hiaasen.
©2002 Carl Hiaasen; 2002 Random House Audio
I choose this version because it is read by Carl Hiaasen himself. I'm always willing to take a chance when I see that the writer in the narrator. Mr Hiaasen does a fairly good job. He is kind of deadpan throughout but his delivery works with the story.
If you are a fan of Hiaasen you might want the unabridged version (I've read both). While this abridgment is fairly good (and I've heard some bad ones) in shortening the story they took out much character development which is Hiaasen's long suit. I really missed this but felt the story flowed well without it.
Good writing and an innovative plot line.
The narrator, a news reporter.
Rock star makes a different kind of "hit".
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