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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

  • 4.1 out of 5.0
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Story

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A Perfect Summer Listen!

This is the kind of book you read or listen to when you need a good laugh. In true Hiaasen fashion, the listener is introduced to a far out and crazy cast of characters who are put into truly absurd situations from beginning to end. Where else will you find a senior citizen group called the Mothers of Wilderness holding meetings at assisted living facilities to plot a scheme to steal the beloved Blue Tongued Mango Voles in an attempt to shut down the evil Amazing Kingdom?

Despite how improbable things get, try to be willing to take the ride all the way to the end. While laughing out loud you will get a lesson on environmentalism and come to love this crazy bunch of outcasts. To truly enjoy this, and any Hiaasen book, you have to just go with it. It’s a kind of a literary guilty pleasure, but it’s still more smart than trashy.

13 of 14 people found this review helpful

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  • Ed
  • Saint Augustine, FL, United States
  • 05-18-11

Hiaasen makes me laugh out loud

Having read or listened to many of Hiaasen's works, this one was about what I expected. Funny characters, funny situations, funny dialogue and funny outcomes. What I liked about this book is he made equal fun of developers and environmentalists. He even made me laugh at my own PR profession. If this were the only book that Hiaasen ever wrote, it probably would have earned five stars. But his books are like songs by the BeeGees; they're different but they sound the same. And if you like one, you'll probably like them all.

12 of 13 people found this review helpful

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  • Eric
  • Anchorage, AK, United States
  • 04-03-09

Another Winner

This is one of his earlier works but it stands the test of time and demonstrates true Hiassen genius. Well worth a credit (or even real money!)

17 of 19 people found this review helpful

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How does the narrator do it?

How can anyone read a Carl Hiaasen book out loud without laughing insanely! Yet, inspite of the over the top hysterical attributes of his books, there is a serious underlying message about what is being done to damage our natural resources. A great read or listen.

16 of 18 people found this review helpful

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Only in Florida

This is one of the more memorable of Hiaasen’s books. George Wilson is a solid performer. I lived in Florida for a long time so I’m quite biased as I can relate to the people and places Carl describes. Most humor is based on truth and “Native Tongue” is real funny. If you’ve never lived in or visited Florida, then I can see how much of satire is wasted on the reader of this book.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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Comedy to either laugh with or roll your eyes at


After a handful of Hiaasen novels, my hypothesis is that your first Hiaasen experience is the best. From that introductory experience, the thrill of it all either drops a notch and maintains a level of mildly humorous material guaranteed to lighten your mood, or you find the giggles slowly sliding into eye rolling, until you have to break up with Hiaasen. (Which reminds me of my first fiancé -- eventually everything I found so charming about him in the beginning, I later cited as reasons to loose the guy.) Hiaasen's humor still makes me smile, but I resort to it only when I need a little pick-me-up. It relies a bit on Murphy's Law mixed with ridiculousness, so there is an element of predictability after 2 or 3 of his books. Native Tongue had it's moments, and the expected characters, but it was a little dated, and a lot ridiculous. My fave is still Skinny Dip, my first experience with Hiaasen. NT is still the silly fun I've come to expect from Hiaasen, but at my 5th outing with the author... most of the thrill is gone. Let's just say I laughed AND rolled my eyes.

19 of 24 people found this review helpful

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  • CVW
  • Fairway, KS, US
  • 12-05-10

Something stolen, something blue

Another of Hiaasen's whackos-running-around-Florida books. Usual cast of characters - evil developers, pristine wilderness, etc, etc. He found the right balance on this one. Apocalyptic ending. Devastatingly funny.

8 of 10 people found this review helpful

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Decent, but not as humorous as I expected...

Carl Hiaasen's writing makes me think of Dave Barry, whose books I LOVE to read. This was a pretty funny book - although Barry's books are a bit funnier to me. Considering the location of the book and the location of the author, as well as the very similar writing style, I believe that Hiaasen and Barry MUST know each other, actually. Anyway - I digress - the plot was incredibly complicated, but it wasn't too hard to follow, and the multitude of characters were all well-developed. As a main character, I couldn't really decide if I liked Joe Winder or not; he was a person that I don't think I'd want to be friends with. Additionally, I can handle the crass language in this book, but would certainly prefer much cleaner dialogue. I did feel that the story dragged a little bit in places, and I HATED how Hiaasen refers to the main character as Joe Winder...every single time he says his name. As if the book was filled with 27 characters named Joe. He was the only one! I started thinking of his name as Joewinder. Overall, interesting and somewhat amusing. I may or may not read other books by this author.

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

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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

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  • MR
  • 04-13-13

Ridiculous but you have to love it.

I love Carl Hiaasen's novels for the extremity of the characters, the ridiculous situations and the fact that the wrongs always seem to be righted. They remind me of how pantomimes compare with serious plays. I have read that they are based on true events and can imagine that with his journalistic past he is able to create novels based on the stories that he would have loved to be able to write. The themes in his novels are recurrent, the environment, corruption, big business, the desicration of the everglades and justice eventually being dished out by the downtrodden underdog. Native Tongue does not dissapoint and delivers all these within the context of a tacky theme park run by an ex mobster who is under the witness protection program. Serious Themes - Delightful Sillyness

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Gail
  • 11-06-14

Slow slog

What did you like best about Native Tongue? What did you like least?

Couldnt gel with the main character and the story didnt get any more interesting as it went on.

What was the most interesting aspect of this story? The least interesting?

I just wasnt drawn in at all to the point that I havent finished it. I'll keep trying when I have nothing left to listen to though

What about George Wilson’s performance did you like?

He read it well with appropriate voice inflections

If this book were a film would you go see it?

no

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