Selasa, 12 April 2011

Hiaasen Hits the High Mark Again

Bad Monkey Carl Hiaasen

Bad Monkey Carl Hiaasen

Andrew Yancey has several problems: the former employee of the Miami Police Department and the Monroe County Sheriff's Office is currently on roach patrol, i.e., a restaurant inspector. His current girlfriend Bonnie has an unsavory and lurid past that is about to be revealed, and a builder is constructing an oversized house that spoils his view of the water in the Florida Keys. And one minor detail: when a charter fisherman catches a human arm, Yancey is ordered by the county sheriff to take it to Miami thereby making it the city's problem.

Andrew, to be fair, is multitalented. A man who supports a mango Popsicle habit, Andrew is nevertheless appealing to the opposite sex, and, although dubious, is willing to make love with a beautiful and slightly kinky medical examiner on an autopsy table. Throw in a few murders, a ill-tempered monkey with the heartbreak of psoriasis, a not-so-grieving widow and her estranged daughter concerned with inheritance issues, a hurricane with an unlikely name, assorted Bahamans including a voodoo queen interested in sex as a payoff for voodoo services provided, and a surprise revelation that throws a real curve in the plot, and we have the makings of another wild ride with a fantastic plot, well-conceived outrageous characters, and a fast-paced story that readers have come to expect in Carl Hiaasen's novels. There are also satiric undertones, as Hiaasen also explores the despoiling effects of uncontrolled development on the Florida coast.

'Bad Monkey' is Hiaasen at his best.

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5 komentar:

  1. I always enjoy reading a Carl Hiaasen book because I know that it's going to be extremely amusing, with a lot of odd characters doing unusual and strange things. This new book did not disappoint me.

    It begins when a fishing vessel off the Florida Keys snags an arm from the water, and goes on from there. The main protagonist is a former police detective who was demoted to health and safety inspector (roach patrol) for using a small vacuum on the husband of his girlfriend in quite an unusual manner! Just that little snippet should tell you that you, the reader, are in for quite a ride in these pages.

    Action happens in Florida and also in the Bahamas. There are murders, deranged monkeys, libidinous voodoo women, and just a lot of other nuttiness that you can expect from Carl's works. My wife hates it when I get a funny book, because I annoy her to no end by laughing out loud many times, as I did while reading this book.

    All in all, Carl Hiaasen does not disappoint his faithful readers, and I look forward to more craziness in the future.

    BalasHapus
  2. Jacklyn Gallagher27 November 2011 05.32

    Florida is a rich source for Carl Hiaasen, and in reading his past novels, I can rarely remember a plot, but enjoy his characters and the fixes they find themselves in--and in a state as strange as the zanier parts of Louisiana and California. Back in the nearly ecologically demolished Florida Keys, his main character, Andrew Yancy, gets fired for rudely goosing the husband of a now and former girlfriend with a portable vacuum. Yancy is bumped from the role of police detective to a restaurant inspector--better known as the 'Roach Patrol.' Anyway, the story centers on Yancy attempting to redeem himself and get his old job back.

    The story is a first rate mystery. The characters and their mind-sets are as happily warped as ever, but the story is a cracking good detective story (or roach inspector story.) In addition to the politics, Hemmingway wannabes, weather and land development that arouse Hiaasen's ire in the Keys, we are also treated to life and characters in the Bahamas. (In looking at a map, the Bahamas look like missing pieces of Florida that left home the first chance they got.) In the dialog of the Bahama residents, Hiaasen pulls off the island patios--to wit:

    "Ain't no hoppy situation, mon. It was my hoff sister made the deal. Nobody axe me."

    Among his richly drawn characters is the Sheriff who fires Yancy, Yancy's ex-girlfriend who's wanted in Oklahoma for taking sexual advantage of a young man, his current girlfriend, Rosa the pathologist, a pilot who used to smuggle drugs, an over-sexed voodoo woman known as the Dragon Queen, her lover, Egg who is also a developer's body guard and general goon, the widow of the man who belonged to the arm that was caught by a sport fisherman, the daughter of the man with the missing arm, Neville (a Bahaman) whose house is demolished by a developer, who refuses to take the money and a scamming electric wheelchair hustler who's also a dirty rotten scoundrel, and Yancy's next door neighbor who built a spec house next to his on Pine Key that blocks his view and frightens off the little dear who live on Pine Key. (Whewwww!)

    Hiaasen draws Florida's worse and best side. The best side being killed by the worse in mangling development. However, with the Bahamas corralled into Hiaasen's mix, we see that crazy may part of the human make-up (or at least those who share Florida's latitudes.)

    BalasHapus
  3. Wallace Bright12 Oktober 2012 04.32

    I love Hiaasen's books because of the caustic wit and snarky comments. This one follows that recipe to the letter.

    Andrew Yancy--late of the Miami Police and soon-to-be-late of the Monroe County sheriff's office--has a human arm in his freezer. Yancy thinks the boating-accident explanation is full of holes, and if he can prove murder, the sheriff might rescue him from his grisly Health Inspector gig. Yancy's new true love, a kinky coroner; and the eponymous bad monkey, who with hilarious aplomb earns his place among Carl Hiaasen's greatest characters.

    BalasHapus
  4. Carl Hiaasen's BAD MONKEY is exactly what I expect from this author. The book is a quick, easy read filled with characters as colorful and bright as the sub-tropical backdrop that had me chortling to myself every few minutes. As a native South Floridian, I share Hiaasen's cynicism, disdain, and sheer perverse joy as we watch his characters screw each other over, both literally and figuratively. I do feel he is a bit harsh on the Conchs (Really, Carl, they can't all be that bad!)

    One would get the sense from reading his book that when Obi Wan Kenobi said, "...never before has there been a more wretched hive of scum and villainy...." that, he was referring to Key West rather the Mos Eisley Space Port.

    The protagonist, for lack of a better word, is a jerk. His interest in justice is self-centered and I find him to have no redeeming qualities. However, it may just be that Carl has had the misfortune of dealing with Miami-Dade and Monroe Counties' finest. I would hope that, rather than scare off tourists, the attentive reader will take note of some of the more common scams portrayed in this book and enjoy a bit of the Tropical Life. If you're offended by vulgarity, then this book is not for you. But if you're not and would welcome a good laugh, it's a definite read.

    BalasHapus