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 relaunch 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; 2013 Random House Audio
The redemption of this journalist via the obit pages is wacky but it works. What I most enjoyed is that every character has a surprise and a psychological quirk.
This is only my second Carl Hiaasen book - the first was read in print, not an audiobook - and I enjoyed it......however I can see the similarities and can see how too many of them would become repetitious and be too much of a good thing. But, it isn't too much for me and this is still an enjoyable book, both in tone and content. It has humourous writing and a good storyline (and a reasonable mystery).
I have listened to several of Carl Hiasson's books. Have enjoyed each one even though there is a theme and style that is a little repetitive. Still, I like the witty and clever human twists. Fun read/listen.
If you like his books, you will love this one. His stories often start out a little slow for me--it takes me a while to get into them. This one sucked me in almost immediately. The narrator was perfect. When he did a woman's voice I thought he sounded like a woman. In other words I forgot it was a narrator. This is so far either my fav or ties with one other for fav.
And George Newbern did a magnificent job delivering it. thank-you to both. I always think as I start a new book by Mr. Hiassen that THIS time I will be just a tad disappointed, you know just because ' how can he keep delivering fresh meaty stories?". but each time he does. wow!
Good Hiaasen farce with plenty of laughs, action, thrills and spills. I fell for the quirky hero and his friends. Newbern was the perfect narrator, giving a light sardonic touch to Jack Tagger's story. I dinged the rating for overall because the first half of the story was plagued by missing first syllables on too many first words of sentences, poor editing. Nevertheless, a week's worth of wonderful commutes thanks to author and narrator!
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