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Publisher's Summary

This novel by Carl Hiaasen, author of Tourist Season and Native Tongue, begins as most thrillers do, with a killing. But this is no everyday, hum-drum, garden variety killing. Our hero, Nick Stranahan, a 42-year-old private investigator who has killed five men and been married five times, skewers his attacker's aorta with the razor-sharp bill of a stuffed marlin, setting off a roller coaster ride of events that will drop-kick Stranahan into the deep slime of Miami's prosperous plastic surgery industry.

As with Hiaasen's other books, Skin Tight is one long, extended farce, a comic take on everything from TV tabloid hosts to ambulance chasers, chronicling modern America's ever-growing penchant for tastelessness, self-absorption, and high sleaze.

You will find yourself laughing in spite of yourself at wildly improbable characters like Chemo, a 7-foot monster with a face like a bowl of breakfast cereal; Heather Chappell, who wants to completely renovate her Barbi-doll body; and Reynaldo Flemm, the host of prime time's In Your Face, who stages mock attacks to his person in order to increase the Nielsen ratings.

©1989 Carl Hiaasen (P)1993 Recorded Books, LLC

Critic Reviews

"Hiaasen's latest thriller is his funniest and sharpest novel to date....This wickedly amusing story is the work of a keen satirist who off-handedly exposes the moral rot at every level of society." (Publishers Weekly)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    656
  • 4 Stars
    647
  • 3 Stars
    259
  • 2 Stars
    68
  • 1 Stars
    34

Performance

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    475
  • 4 Stars
    307
  • 3 Stars
    109
  • 2 Stars
    29
  • 1 Stars
    12

Story

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
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  • 4 Stars
    321
  • 3 Stars
    152
  • 2 Stars
    42
  • 1 Stars
    19
Sort by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Chris
  • Wilmington, NC, USA
  • 08-02-04

Skintight

In typical Hiaasen fashion this book lives up to his wicked sense of humor. The way he writes his stories make you feel as though you're in the story & can't wait for the next hilarious character to surface.
Anyone who has listened to Hiaasen will certainly love this one. Its also a great introduction to new listeners.
A must hear.

32 of 33 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Cid
  • LAGUNA BEACH, CA, United States
  • 05-23-05

Not my favorite, but still a fun read.

This one was not my favorite of the three Carl Hiaasen books I've read. It got a little tedious at times - but was still entertaining and fun.

8 of 8 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Tim
  • Woolwich Township, NJ, USA
  • 10-06-04

Very Funny & Enjoyable!

This was a great book with great characters. Carl seemed to have included every type of character immaginable in this book and tie them all together. One of the best books I've listened to on Audible. If you like the character Nick Stranahan, check out Skinny Dip also.

15 of 16 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Another Fun Romp Into the Absurd

This is another fun novel featuring former cop Mick Stranahan, a man who has killed as many men as he has former wives. That would be 5 , at least in this novel. Mick is gifted with an overwhelming amount of common sense along with an uncommonly accurate ability to size people up quickly.

As is the case with many gifted heroes in literature , he has an equally extreme weakness that keeps his ego in check. He has the lowest possible immunity from falling in love with whoever he sleeps with. Thus he has had 5 ex wives, all cocktail or diner waitresses.

Another common trait of Hiasson novels the absurd lives of his villains. In this case the story begins with a former nurse scheming to extort money from her former employer, an unethical quack plastic surgeon, by threatening to expose his killing of a young college girl several years back. To validate her claim while diverting attention away from her actual scam, she plays on the vanity of an egocentric investigative reporter and points all involved parties to a former detective who worked the case years ago. One Mick Stranahan.

Suddenly we are in the world of plastic surgery as viewed by a wonderfully talented, cynical humorist, an ex reporter, turned columnist turned novelist. Let's face it, it is a world of extreme vanity, sexually charged, enormous egos, even larger insecurities...and little oversight by the medical community. There is no shortage of material here for Hiasson to work with.

I love the characters, the humor, the relationships and most of all I enjoyed the whole experience.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Fantastic!!!!!!

ANYTHING by Hiassen is GREAT. Funny? - NO - Hilariously Funny! And well written. George Wilson's reading is flawless and his characterizations add even more humor. I have listened not only to this book but three others and they are by far my favorites. These audios are actually better than reading the books (I have read two of them as well). One warning - members of the female gender may not like these books (as I have noticed by some of the reviews), but do not let that deter you. His books are truly worth getting -- I will even listen to this one again.

12 of 13 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Lighthearted But Serious Subject

I enjoyed this book. I was looking for something light after I had read a series of serious books, however due to the subject matter it probably wasn't the best choice for a relaxing read. While it is humorous, a lot of people are killed in this book.

I listened to Skinny Dip prior to this, so it was interesting to see where Mick Stranahan came from. I think some of the conclusions are a bit far fetched, but really it was enjoyable if you don't read into it too much.

Just a heads up. While I listen in the car I have to keep my audio player at top volume so I don't have to keep my car speakers so loud because I get static, this usually is not an issue - but for some reason this book had a weird buzzing noise in the background every time the narrator was "on". If the narrator stopped and it was just space interjected during editing it didn't buzz. I could drown out the buzzing without too much trouble, but it was obvious when he went on and off. I thought the narration was fine (a few minor blips, but nothing unexpected) but I knocked it a star because of the editing/buzzing. It also seemed like it stopped and started a new chapter/paragraph without proper spacing in some areas. Spacing I'd expect at the end of a sentence and it took me a minute to catch up that we were talking about different people.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Elizabeth
  • Hayward, CA, United States
  • 10-07-11

I think I missed something

All the reviews of this said how funny it was. Perhaps I should not have tried it right after reading Open and Shut. There were some things that I thought might have been amusing, but only after I stopped and thought about it. Maybe the performance was too subtle for me. I usually "get it" when it's subtle, but there was some brutality in this that just wasn't funny. I will give it another try, perhaps after a text book or something with no expectation. The narrator sounded fine, but what was funny got right passed me.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Dubi
  • New York, NY
  • 01-24-15

If it Quacks Like a Carl...

The world of plastic surgery is the background for another sampling of Florida anthropology by Carl Hiaasen, one of the foremost practitioners of comic Florida crime fiction. Someone is trying to kill former investigator Mick Stranahan after he starts to revisit a cold case involving a botched nose job by a crooked and incompetent plastic surgeon.

This being Hiaasen, there is a lot more going on here than Stranahan going after the quack. As usual, there is a broad range of characters from various walks of life (most of them low) in the great state of Florida. And the world of plastic surgery is hardly Hiassen's sole target -- tabloid TV journalism, Geraldo Rivera style, is sent up, along with frequent targets like shyster lawyers, corrupt police and politicians, arrogant party boys, vindictive divorcees, and vain celebrities.

There is also a singularly memorable foe for Stranahan to go up against and some truly gruesome deaths, including one that was copied some years later by the makers of the movie Fargo (which one could argue is like Hiaasen in Minnesota). On the sympathetic side, there are friendly conch fishermen, loveable waitresses, and a sharp-toothed barracuda.

So what we have here is off-the-shelf Carl Hiaassen, not necessarily a standout among his oeuvre, but perfectly entertaining entry for established fans of his style of Floridian farce to enjoy. George Wilson narrates it well, familiar enough with this genre from having performed a healthy percentage of books by Hiaasen and another writer in the same vein, Tim Dorsey.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Shannon
  • boothwyn, PA, USA
  • 03-13-06

Not his best

I've only listened to two of his books, but I can't say that I was a huge fan of this one. The plot was good enough, but some of the scenes were painful to listen to – like any involving ditzy women that threw herself at any of the male characters. I like the outrageous scenarios, but the voice of the narrator was grating whenever he had to do a female character – they all sounded the same; airy and unintelligent. Try Skinny Dip instead.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Skin Tight

Typical Hiaason, difficult to put down. I can't wait for "Sick Puppy" to arrive in audible.

7 of 8 people found this review helpful