Saturday, August 4, 2007

Nature Girl

Mr. Hiaasen, who consistently titles his adult fiction works with two words only, plots stories around that which he finds irritating, bothersome, unjust, despicable, insane, outrageous, criminal, and unreasonable in the state of Florida. Nature Girl points at the telemarketing industry, treatment of the Seminole Indians over the years, tourism in the Everglades, as well as
self-induced drug and alcohol abuse. The son of a Broward County judge, CH long ago became fed-up by all that has led to the flogging of his native state; he currently writes an editorial column for the Miami Herald. A gifted raconteur and cheerleader for the environment, Mr. Hiaasen sticks a satirical knife in and turns it at all that provokes and peeves him. In the end, the bad guy always gets exactly what he deserves.

Honey Santana, Louis Piejack and Boyd Shreave are the latest of his loony and bizarre characters. Just how can he imagine these twisted and surreal persons and write continuously, novel after novel, about their escapades? Reflect on this. Not long ago, and in the wee hours of the night, a middle-aged, coked-up drifter passes out at the perimeter of a swampy wetland in Central Florida (sans apparel). Occupants in nearby homes were awakened by insistent and fearsome screaming. It seems the “nekkid ole boy” came to and found himself being dragged out to deeper waters in the choppers of one incredibly hefty gator. True story. The paramedics, firemen and policemen who rescued him accounted events of the previous night on the morning show circuit the next day. I watched and listened to them. Inspiration for yet another way out character in an imminent Carl Hiaasen novel methinks.

Easy to read, if you dare, his books require that you possess an open sense of humor to be understand. Chuckle and giggle you will.

Next in the pile of books to read…. Divining Women by Kaye Gibbons.

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