©1991 Carl Hiaasen; (P)1992 Recorded Books
I like Jack Reacher style characters regardless of setting. Put them in outer space, in modern America, in a military setting, on an alien planet... no worries. Book has non moralistic vigilante-justice? Sign me up! (oh, I read urban fantasy, soft and hard sci-fi, trashy vampire and zombie novels too)
I don't know why this ended up in my reading list - musta been on sale or something. It's not a bad story and does have some good parts, but there's a lot of "satire" in it that just missed the mark. And too much "aren't I funny" from the author. He isn't that funny. The story isn't that "biting" or insightful and there's WAY too much time spent harping on about environmental destruction... I got the point by the halfway mark.
Trimming out a couple hours would have made it more enjoyable. We could have skipped most of the story around Joe's porn girlfriend (still don't know what the point of her was), Skink's stupid panther shenanigans (oh-kay, what was that all about?), and the steroid-head's over-the-topness (maybe this guy was supposed to be funny? it was just dumb). I don't think I'll read any more of this author's stuff though... his writing just isn't as funny as he thinks he is.
The narration, however, was excellent.
I listen to books all the time, When I am driving, cleaning, cooking or doing anything quiet. I am AUDOBSESSED!
It was okay, but I was kinda over it by the middle. so much of it was unrealistic, if you decide to read it yuou will probably agree. Very entertaining tongue in check detective work.
Not great literature. Not terribly complicated. Interesting characters. Likable main character. Fun plot How can you not like an ornery libidinous dolphin?
This was another funny and entertaining book about characters in South Florida. It's a good escape from the day to day and a great story.
People say I resemble my dog (and vice-versa). He can hear sounds I can't hear, but I'm the one who listens to audiobooks.
Often a positive review of a prolific author goes like this: well, fans will definitely love it, but newbies? Not sure. Carl Hiaasen's formula is so familiar to his longtime readers that I have to caution them: You'll like it, but don't expect anything you haven't seen before. But if you've never read Hiaasen, this is as good a place to start as any -- you may very well love this.
The elements of most Hiaasens: greedy land developers threaten ecological disaster, aided and abetted or fiercely opposed by a vast array of characters pulled right out Florida's varied fauna -- jaded journalist, bumbling burglars, loopy longtime locals, feckless outsiders, cynical law enforcement, an exceptional love interest, and quite often actual fauna, animals with interesting character traits of their own.
Native Tongue possesses another element that appears in some but not all Hiaasesns: Skink, the vengeful hermit ex-Governor who is kind of like a swamp batman. And his state trooper pal, Jim Tile. This is Skink's second appearance in chronological order, but since the narrative is not sequential from book to book, you can jump into his series anywhere -- this one's good, Double Whammy (Skink's first) is just as good.
This framework is usually put together to allow Hiaasen to take aim at some icon of Florida life. In Native Tongue, that icon is the Theme Park. Thinly veiled low-rent version of Disney World, here called the Amazing Kingdom. That gives Hiaasen a number of easy targets -- rickety rides, corrupt park practices, crass commercialism, militant environmentalists, resort golf, even cetaceans behaving badly.
All in good fun. For me, a half dozen titles into Hiaasen, the redoubtable George Wilson at the mic (that's a compliment), as is often the case in Hiaasen's early canon, it turned out to be good, albeit predictable. Slow start, especially since I couldn't tell who the good guys were, if there was even going to be any good guys. Then Skink comes along and the story soars from there.
Say something about yourself!
The is a beautiful, cheeky tale from a writer whose passion for his home state is only surpassed by a writing style that is elegant, natural and a hell of a lot of fun to listen to.
Another fine distraction by Mr. Hiaasen with a engrossing rendering by Mr. Wilson. Almost makes one want to vist Florida.
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