No two persons ever read the same book. --Edmund Wilson

Monday, September 05, 2005

#80: Skinny Dip -- Carl Hiaasen

It's a funny sort of novel, because it's the reverse of a whodunnit. The villain's identity is plain from page 1, and the blurb tells us that his intended victim survives. So where's the plot? Revenge -- hot, cold and every state in between. I'd forgotten how witty Hiaasen is, and how astute an observer of human foibles. The cast is delightful, from Chaz the would-be widower, through feisty (I'm sorry, but she is) Joey, his wife, to Mick Strahahan, ex-PI who loathes crowds / cities / noise / his fellow Americans with a vengeance. Also a detective who's more devoted to his snakes than to anything else, a dim-but-golden-hearted thug, and a woman with terminal cancer who has the most positive outlook of any of them.

Hiaasen, I'm told, returns to the same themes again and again -- pollution and eco-damage, corruption, misue of prescription drugs, strong female characters who hold the moral high ground and aren't afraid of consequences -- but I've only read one other novel by him, on my sole Florida trip, and didn't find it that similar. Skinny Dip was a very enjoyable read, dry and sly and entertaining: I've bought myself a compendium trilogy for my next holiday. Though if I were going to Florida I might've picked something less worrying ...

reposted here from LJ in order to keep all my reviews in one place

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