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Soon Boodle and Stoat's wife, Desie, are fugitives from Florida's nature despoilers (who include the Governor, a "gladhanding maggot," the amusingly slimy Stoat, the human bulldozer Krimmler, the cocaine-importer-turned-developer Clapley, and the hit man Mr. Gash, who's fond of sex with multiple beach bimbos in iguana-skin sex harnesses to the tunes of The World's Most Blood Curdling Emergency Calls). Desie, who has a knack for calamitous romance, is smitten with Twilly, but urges him not to kill any litterbugs or pelican molesters: "Jail would not be good for this relationship." What keeps pure farce at bay in a novel that romps with the abandon of a scent-crazed Labrador is the otherwise charming Twilly's creepy edge of implacable fanaticism. And what redeems the funny/ugly violence from cliché is its colorful bad guys (they're as iridescent as oil slicks), Hiaasen's excellent wit, and the music of his prose. To evoke a drunk asleep on the beach, he adds a pungent detail: "a gleaming stellate dollop of seagull shit decorated his forehead."
Hiaasen is not unflawed. His original eco-terrorist character, ex-Florida governor Clinton "Skink" Tyree, seems like an interloper from the earlier books. But Hiaasen's the master of madcap ensembles (which is partly why the star-vehicle film of his fine book Strip Tease flopped). And even when you can see a chase scene's denouement coming for a beachfront mile, each paragraph packs descriptive delights to keep you going at breakneck pace. --Tim Appelo
"Sick Puppy is Hiaasen at his best."
-- Michele Ross, Cleveland Plain Dealer
"From start to finish, Sick Puppy is a howl."
-- Barbara Hoffman, New York Post
"Hiaasen has done it again with this wacky, wonderful novel."
-- Thomas Kilpatrick, Library Journal
"Carl Hiaasen's books are so much fun, it's a wonder they're still legal."
-- Charles Taylor, Newsday
"Hiaasen's usual cast of zany characters shows up en masse in Sick Puppy, a frolicking sendup of ecological subterfuge, Florida's fabled politics and downright human foibles."
-- USA Today
"Hiaasen delivers everything his fans want. He's still funny as hell and mad as hell; his myriad plot twists won't give you a moment's peace, and his characters are kinkier than anything you could order on late night TV."
-- Faith Gay, Miami Herald
"A comic romp that is thoroughly enjoyable....[Hiaasen] is considerably more fun to read than Elmore Leonard, but remains, after a decade of writing novels, in that twilight of cult author who's on the verge of being discovered big time. Discover him."
-- Phil Kloer, Atlanta Journal Constitution
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SICK PUPPY - Pan
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