Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Nature Girl - Carl Hiaasen

Book: Nature Girl

Author: Carl Hiaasen

Grade: B+

Recommended To: Comedy fans.

I recently discovered Carl Hiaasen's novels even though he's been writing comedy for years. I remembered that I had read one of his books, Skinny Dip years ago and decided to try out more of his novels this year including Nature Girl. Hiaasen writes comedic fiction and his attention to the bizarre detail is excellent. His books are literally laugh-out-loud funny. Do you remember the last time you actually belly-laughed when reading a book? No? Well, pick up any Hiaasen book and prepared yourself for sore abs.

In Nature Girl, a single mother gets a phone call from a telemarketer during dinner and immediately begins hatching a plan for revenge. She begins her own eco-tour company and coerces the telemarketer and his mistress to Florida with promises of seeing the wild everglades by canoe. This one event spirals into a fascinating and fast-paced story where the many characters finally come together on a distant island in the everglades.

I like Hiaasen's novels because they are always set in Florida and they are always WILDLY environmental. There is always an underlying theme that the thousands of people moving to Florida for the beaches and the weather are actually destroying a precious natural resource can't be restored. Hiaasen's novels are also never disappointing in the sense that the "bad guys" are always distinct and they always get what they deserve. Sometimes, you just need a book where you aren't torn between which characters to enjoy and which characters to hate.

I also like Hiaasen's novels because the real comedy comes from his descriptions of the characters. He has this gift where he describes a character but takes it far beyond what is needed for an adequate mental picture. He adds these ridiculous and funny details that make the story perfect and never over blown.

I gave this novel a B+ mostly because I reserve my A's for really extraordinary things but I recommend Hiaasen to anyone who is looking for a fast, funny read, you will not be disappointed.

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