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Publisher's Summary

Ex-reporter Joe Winder had been working in the public relations department of a sleazy family entertainment park, The Amazing Kingdom of Thrills, when he chanced upon a news-breaking story inspired by the disappearance of two blue-tongued voles and the bizarre death of Orky, the killer whale.
©1991 Carl Hiaasen; (P)1992 Recorded Books

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.0 out of 5.0
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    368
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    333
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    169
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    42
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    23

Performance

  • 4.4 out of 5.0
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    325
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    199
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    72
  • 2 Stars
    8
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    7

Story

  • 4.1 out of 5.0
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    274
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    205
  • 3 Stars
    100
  • 2 Stars
    23
  • 1 Stars
    14
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  • Story

Sorry when it ended.

I had a little trouble getting into this book. But once I got going, enjoyed it a lot. Great and very funny dialogue. Great narration. Interesting plot. I hardly ever write a review but this was an unexpected delight. Give it a try.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Great Hiaasen entertainment

I listen to the book while in the car and I am sure some people wonder why I am driving along laughing. Carl Hiaasen is a great story crafter and there is action, mystery, interesting good guys and horrible bad guys! Best of all, humor. Love it.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Funny satire that forgot to be funny

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.

9 of 13 people found this review helpful

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ok if you like a little silly

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.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Ronnie
  • Cincinnati, OH, United States
  • 03-04-11

I liked it

It gets very funny towards the middle/end--hang in there. Not one of my favorites but good.

3 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Just a fun story

Not great literature. Not terribly complicated. Interesting characters. Likable main character. Fun plot How can you not like an ornery libidinous dolphin?

3 of 5 people found this review helpful

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  • Story
  • Ted
  • Lancaster, PA, United States
  • 01-20-13

Silly... If You Want That... This Is Your Book...

I'm torn, this story falls into one of two types... (1) It is was ordered up by the people who create Chelsea Grammar screenplays so that the star can sell his reputation for the most bucks quick until eventually everyone who might have attended decides, "Fool me once... shame on you.. But fool me twice and well, I feel gypped." or (2) It's one of those "Famous Writing Academy" classroom exercise where the manuscript is passed to another student after his predecessor wrote a chapter.

Okay, in both cases, some talented people might flack out the next scene or chapter, but their reward's going to come from a teacher or producer, not from anyone who actually pays money for the thing. No wonder that the longest chapter in Native Tongue is the epilogue which has to fill more holes than come woven into a Florida window-screen. I didn't hate this thing... But the word "disappoint" sparks to mind fast as a Bic's flame.

Once upon a time I reeeeeeely enjoyed Carl Hiaasen. I guess he got used to the income supplement from books and figures its also a way to wrap something around his nature rants. Hell, maybe the rants let him sleep at night? Certainly it can't be authorial pride anymore. Sigh... Skip this one, K?

5 of 9 people found this review helpful

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A great story with amazing characters

A little slow to come together and with a faltering start, but it grew in all the right ways. By the last half of the book, I couldn’t stop listening. The narrator was amazing.

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  • Andrea
  • Anchorage, AK, United States
  • 12-03-17

One of Hiassen’s Best!

An intricately woven tale of Sunshine State chicanery that is full of despicably lovable characters doing bad deeds to one another on the Peninsula. wildly funny and entertaining! Viva la Dysfunction!

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Love that Skink

All of George Wilson's old ladies sound alike to me, but they're cute. Even when they're wielding guns.
Joe Winder has to write PR copy for a lame Disney World copycat theme park with the unlikely name of The Amazing Kingdom of Thrills on one of the Keys. The owner of the park is busy ravaging the nearby landscape to add a golf course and real estate kingdom as well. Winder's girlfriend has a job as a phone sex worker and we can see that relationship isn't working out; he's just unable to face it. Winder gets into all sorts of situations trying to do the Right Thing and has to be rescued by everyone's favorite reclusive ex-governer, Skink.
Hiaasen skewers environmentalists as well as soulless real estate developers.
Save the Blue Tongued Mango Voles! Whoops! Too late.