Hiaasen at his riotous and muckraking best. When eco-enthusiast Twilly Spree spots someone in a Range Rover dumping litter onto the freeway, he decides to teach him a lesson - only to discover that his target is Palmer Stoat, one of Florida's cockiest and most powerful political fixers, whose current project just happens to be the 'malling' of a Gulf Coast Island...A quick spot of dognapping later and the pathologically short-tempered Twilly finds himself embroiled in a murky world of singing toads, bogus big-game hunters, large vet bills and in the company of an infamous ex-governer who's gone back to nature with a vengeance. With Sick Puppy, Carl Hiaasen unleashes another outrageously funny tale that gleefully lives up to its title and proves yet again that Hiaasen is master of the satirical thriller.
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Carl Hiaasen's characters ride and flail on little verbal hurricanes, and his literary storm shows no signs of dying down. Sick Puppy shares Dave Barry's giddy gift for finding humor in South Florida horrors, and a bit of Elmore Leonard's genius for pitch-perfect dialogue spouted smartly by criminals who are dumb as stumps. The title of Hiaasen's eighth novel could apply to most of its characters, but it chiefly refers to an ebullient Labrador retriever named Boodle and the millionaire eco-terrorist Twilly Spree. Let's just say that Twilly has a singular affliction: poor anger management in the face of environmental irresponsibility. When he spots Boodle's owner, Palmer Stoat, tossing litter from a car, Twilly goes to Stoat's home and removes the glass eyeballs from the animals that the bloated lobbyist had shot and mounted on his walls. Boodle gulps down the eyeballs, sustaining no small amount of digestive difficulties.
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 AppeloFrom the Publisher:
"A sexy, fast-paced romp."
-- Adam Begley, The Financial Times
"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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Book Description 2001-05-04., 2001. Book Condition: New. Pan. New edition. Paperback. Book: GOOD. 450pp. . Bookseller Inventory # NF-1721514