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Dance of the Reptiles

Rampaging Tourists, Marauding Pythons, Larcenous Legislators, Crazed Celebrities, and Tar-Balled Beaches: Selected Columns
Narrated by: Arte Johnson
Length: 12 hrs and 42 mins
3.5 out of 5 stars (125 ratings)
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Publisher's Summary

If you think the wildest, wackiest stories that Carl Hiaasen can tell have all made it into his hilarious, best-selling novels, think again. Dance of the Reptiles collects the best of Hiaasen's Miami Herald columns, which lay bare the stories - large and small - that demonstrate anew that truth is far stranger than fiction.

Hiaasen offers his commentary - indignant, disbelieving, sometimes righteously angry, and frequently hilarious - on burning issues like animal welfare, polluted rivers, and the broken criminal justice system as well as the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, Bernie Madoff's trial, and the shenanigans of the recent presidential elections. Whether or not you have read Carl Hiaasen before, you are in for a wild ride.

©2014 Carl Hiaasen (P)2014 Random House Audio

Critic Reviews

"Hiaasen employs a seasoned bullshit detector that is among the most acute in American journalism.... If Florida is the poster child for a nation's fiscal and political disintegration, Hiaasen is the state's galloping knight (in)errant, slaying the dragons of ineptitude, arrogance and idiocy." ( Kirkus Reviews)
"Entertaining... Hilarious and unnerving...for Hiaasen's ability to awaken outrage and for his eye for oddity." ( Booklist)

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What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Ron
  • Redwood City, CA, United States
  • 02-12-14

Great book. Required reading!

I've read pretty much all of Carl Haaasen's novels but wasn't sure how I'd like a book containing his newspaper editorials.
Wow, was I surprised. This book is brilliant. It has everything from humor to political shenanigans.
Arte Johnson is masterful as the reader.
Should be required reading for all politicians.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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Loved the stories!

Would you consider the audio edition of Dance of the Reptiles to be better than the print version?

I loved this book and the narration was spot-on. I felt the Carl Hiaasen got a little preachy in parts but overlooking that it was a great listen.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Sad stories

Would you try another book from Carl Hiaasen and Diane Stevenson (editor) and/or Arte Johnson?

Carl Hiaasen novels are more enjoyable than this collection of true but distressing tales.

What could Carl Hiaasen and Diane Stevenson (editor) have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

The humor in Carl Hiaasen novels helps a great deal.

Which scene was your favorite?

No favorites here.

Do you think Dance of the Reptiles needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

No, no follow ups, please.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Too local for a European

I love carl Hiaasens novels. This book is a collection of his newspaper columns. If you are not a Floridian a lot of it will go over your head. But if you are familiar with Florida polliticks I am sure you will enjoy it .

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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Mostly Florida political rants

No real story or thread to it. I was hoping for more Hiaasen humor and hijinks.

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No Tales of Humor

Would you try another book from Carl Hiaasen and Diane Stevenson (editor) and/or Arte Johnson?

I've read all of Carl Hiaasen's novel, and find them hilarious.

What was most disappointing about Carl Hiaasen and Diane Stevenson (editor) ’s story?

This book is nothing but political stories from Hiassen's extremely liberal point of view.

What didn’t you like about Arte Johnson’s performance?

The narration seemed unrehearsed. There was no natural flow.

What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

I was disappointed. I thought that the book would contain stories about crazy criminal acts and public servants doing unscrupulous deeds. No...90% liberal politics mostly aimed towards Bush, Republicans, the NRA.

Any additional comments?

I'll still read his novels. He's a great writer, and they make me laugh. I will steer away from his other 2 collections of essays.

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APT FOR TODAY

I was going to call this review a History of Today. It is so very relevant to 2017 and the American political landscape that I kept being amused by the irony. The author cares about creation and the ecology of Florida's inland as well as the popular coastal vacation areas. He also cares about the economy and the people who retire to the state, thinking it will be a good place to live out the rest of their lives in warmth and comfort.

Hiaasen is not writing about 2017, however, or all of American politics -- his columns from the news in Florida several years ago ironically fit todasy's climate. And, they are funny in a sarcastic way. Not being from the sunshine state I appreciated this insider's view of FL and its development over time. Incidentally, I read the book right before Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, Jose asnd Maria hit the Gulf Coast and Southern FL this year. His words seemed almost prophetic.

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Lots of Hyperbole

I stopped the book halfway through. while I've found several of Carl's books entertaining reads, I would not call any of them humorous. This book is no different. I certainly agree that we need to protect and nurture our environment, I don't think that hyperbole and proclaiming personal opinions as if they are facts is the way to accomplish anything and it certainly isn't entertaining.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Love Hiaasen; hated this

Way old stuff and not a typical Hiaasen anything that I'm used to reading by him. I realize this is a compilation, but still ... disappointed.

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Don't Waste Your Money

What disappointed you about Dance of the Reptiles?

They made a lot of wild accusations with just enough facts to bring up the subjects and then used their own mostly incorrect bias assumptions as if they were facts.

What was most disappointing about Carl Hiaasen and Diane Stevenson (editor) ’s story?

Instead of fairly covering the issue and people they used their extreme left wing bias as if were facts. According to them the left is always correct and the right is always wrong. It is my opinion that's what's wrong with our political government now. I think we should do away with all political parties and vote on the candidates for their honestly and ambitions.

Who would you have cast as narrator instead of Arte Johnson?

He just presented the information that was given him. I have no opinion one way of the other.

What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

I purchased the book expecting I would learn from the information within a fair and honest coverage of its subjects and people. Many books seem to be able to do so but I found this book to be unfair and unbalanced. It only plays to the left extreme. Why do we support authors such as these who seems unable to fairly present the subjects and politicians.

Any additional comments?

I believe Bill O'Reilly and these authors should be locked in a caged ring and entertain their fans that away. They seem to think their opposing opinions are the only correct ones. It's sad that grown highly educated men can't use their talents properly researching and
presenting the facts whether good or bad in a honestly and accurate way.

4 of 13 people found this review helpful