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Topic: Carl Hiaasen....is he funny?

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Subject: Carl Hiaasen....is he funny?
Date Posted: 5/31/2009 12:36 AM ET
Member Since: 7/29/2006
Posts: 1,366
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Carl Hiaasen is considered one of American's finest satirical novelist.  I read NATURE GIRL and would like to read more Hiaasen.  Do you like his work?  Which of his many novels would you recommend?  And which would you not recommend?  Which novel do you think is his best?  Please share your thoughts.

Date Posted: 5/31/2009 2:28 AM ET
Member Since: 7/1/2008
Posts: 6,991
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One of my fav authors; so hard to choose, but I love Sick Puppy, and Native Tongue (deal w/environmental issues). Skin Tight and Basket Case are also great (murder mystery w/his usual off the wall humor).  Striptease is the one I liked the least, but I still liked it,  just not as much as the others. I can't choose a fav. Love the guy!

Date Posted: 5/31/2009 2:50 AM ET
Member Since: 5/11/2009
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Carl Hiassen is one of those authors whose style and brand of humor is so distinct that if you like the first one of his that you read, you will probably like just about all of them. And there are quite a few to choose from, so I say, just grab one and go for it!

Date Posted: 5/31/2009 6:45 AM ET
Member Since: 11/28/2007
Posts: 5,676
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Basket Case was the first book of his that I read---and I loved it.  And of course wanted more.  But for some reason, I just have not been able to get into any of his other books.  I'm not sure why.  I have started at least two others, and I struggled to stay interested, couldn't, and then just set them aside.  I think that for me, the timing just may be wrong for now.  I may have to give him another try sometime in the future, because so many people just adore all his stuff.   

Date Posted: 5/31/2009 7:12 AM ET
Member Since: 6/26/2006
Posts: 6,633
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I loved Skinny Dip, which is about a woman who is pushed off her cruise ship by her husband, but doesn't actually die.

His book Flush was also good, but this one is a YA novel. 

Date Posted: 5/31/2009 9:34 AM ET
Member Since: 1/10/2009
Posts: 332
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I started with 'Tourist Season' and was rolling when I got to the part with the small councilperson and the suitcase. For some reason, I had trouble getting through 'Nature Girl,' but as you see above, others liked it. I'll go on reading him because I liked his earlier books so much.
Date Posted: 5/31/2009 4:26 PM ET
Member Since: 6/19/2007
Posts: 5,931
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So far I've only read Nature Girl and Skinny Dip, but I tend to like that zany Florida humor.  I also like Tim Dorsey's Serge Storms series (Nuclear Jellyfish, Atomic Lobster, The Big Bamboo, Torpedo Juice etc) which are in the same vein.

Date Posted: 5/31/2009 8:20 PM ET
Member Since: 10/27/2007
Posts: 2,290
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I have only read one book by him - "Tourist Season" and I found it quite funny and enjoyable.  Reading your post reminded me about him and I would like to try another book by him.  I will check back on this post later to see what other people have posted.

Date Posted: 5/31/2009 9:11 PM ET
Member Since: 8/30/2007
Posts: 3,237
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If you like Hiassen, you should also check out Elmore Leonard. I find their styles very similar.

Date Posted: 6/12/2009 7:07 PM ET
Member Since: 7/29/2006
Posts: 1,366
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I ordered and received SICK PUPPY, but before I had a chance to start reading it, my DH picked it up.  He loves it!  It's a long book (over 500 pages)  and has a lot of characters to keep track of, but he found it to be a fast and fun read.  I want to add that he doesn't  think that  land developers, lobbyists and Florida's elected officials would enjoy it as much as he has!  LOL!

Date Posted: 6/13/2009 12:03 AM ET
Member Since: 8/13/2008
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I actually don't understand the appeal. I don't find him funny at all. I read Nature Girl and almost gave up on it because it was completely boring.

Last Edited on: 6/13/09 12:03 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 6/13/2009 2:21 PM ET
Member Since: 7/29/2006
Posts: 1,366
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I think one needs to suspend reality when reading Hiaasen.  He is very quirky and off the wall......you need to be in the mood for his type of humor, and of course, not everyone is.  In fact, I'm not so sure that  I'm ready for SICK PUPPY!  LOL!

Date Posted: 6/14/2009 4:54 PM ET
Member Since: 7/29/2006
Posts: 1,366
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DH finished SICK PUPPY.  He enjoyed it and is glad he read it, but he didn't like the ending. (said it felt like Hiaasen ran out of ideas)  He also thinks that SICK PUPPY is a much better story than NATURE GIRL.

Date Posted: 6/14/2009 11:15 PM ET
Member Since: 10/13/2005
Posts: 2,168
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I've tried to read Sick Puppy and Nature Girl, but couldn't get into either of them. I just didn't "get" the humor.

Date Posted: 6/15/2009 12:49 PM ET
Member Since: 4/13/2009
Posts: 285
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I thought I'd love Carl Hiaasen since I usually enjoy over-the-top humor (like the Dave Barry novels).  But in the two books I read, the humor had a real vicious edge to it that I just couldn't find funny.    It was directed at characters that "deserved" it, but I still found it disturbing rather than funny.   Just goes to show that audiences can vary widely even within genres!

Date Posted: 7/2/2009 8:42 AM ET
Member Since: 2/25/2007
Posts: 13,991
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I love love  love his books. But I live in south Florida, so I (and people I know) think it's great when those things happen to the people who deserve it. 

But I have to agree with some others; sometimes it seems he was straining----or maybe running dry. He has written, what, 12?? of these books.

I still think Tourist Season was the best,---and one of the best I've read, period. But some of the more recent ones can be tough to get through....it's kind of like Jimmy Buffett music; it's great in short doses but soon it starts to all sound the same.

Date Posted: 7/2/2009 5:29 PM ET
Member Since: 8/10/2005
Posts: 4,603
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If you haven't tried them, read his Young Adult books...he actually won a Newbery Award for Hoot. They are funny, but milder, not the over the top humor of his adult books, which I find...well, the humor seems to be kind of forced at times. I actually prefer his YA books.


Date Posted: 7/5/2009 10:42 PM ET
Member Since: 7/4/2009
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I live where Carl writes about. Thats what I love the most.  South Florida is full of stange people. The places he writes about are real, so, as im reading I know where and possibly who he is referring to. No doubt its fiction, but, it doesnt have to be.

Subject: hard to choose which!
Date Posted: 7/6/2009 5:01 PM ET
Member Since: 1/25/2009
Posts: 2
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I love most all his books, from Tourist Season, StripTease, to Basket Case, he knows how to keep you laughing with

his wit about social issues concerning Florida and the wetlands! The strange people whether real or imagined are great fun!

Date Posted: 7/7/2009 11:40 PM ET
Member Since: 2/24/2006
Posts: 18,471
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I think Nature Girl was his poorest book -- the only one I just didn't finish.  Loved Tourist Season and can't think of the title off the top of my head, I think it was his second book, the one that took place around wide-mouth bass fishing tournaments.

I also try to read his columns online in the Miami Herald.  Don't get the ones about local politics because I don't know the people or politics, but some of his columns on general issues are LOL funny.