NATURE GIRL by Carl Hiaasen

NATURE GIRL

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Hiaasen’s latest heroine is mad as hell, at least when she’s off her meds, and she’s not going to take it anymore.

When a telemarketer who’s interrupted dinner with her son Fry to peddle waterlogged Florida real estate responds to her gentle reproof with obscenities, Honey Santana, deciding he needs to be taught a lesson, sets out to entice Boyd Shreave to the Everglades to give him a taste of his own medicine. She lures both Boyd and his colleague and mistress Eugenie Fonda to Dismal Key, where she proposes to give them a comprehensive immersion in unspoiled Florida. For better or worse, though, she’s picked a week when Dismal Key is overrun with other loonies. Sammy Tigertail has come at the behest of the late Jeter Wilson, whose spirit has been nagging him (“This was the worst vacation I ever had”) ever since Sammy dumped his body into an obliging swamp. Theodore Dealey is a private eye hoping to get photos of Boyd and Eugenie in flagrante for Boyd’s wife, whose interest in the affair has gone way beyond divorce. Louis Piejack, the rancid ex-boss who groped Honey and lived to regret the sequel, is positive she has the hots for him. Perry Skinner, vice mayor of Everglades City, takes a proprietary interest in both Honey, since he used to be her husband, and Fry, since he used to be his father. Members of the First Resurrectionist Maritime Assembly for God are waiting for the Messiah to make landfall. FSU undergraduate Gillian St. Croix, who just wants to have fun, is about the only cast member to get her wish.

For once, the characters are funnier than their exhaustingly unpredictable interactions. The result is less satire than usual from Hiaasen (Skinny Dip, 2004, etc.), and more Rube Goldberg farce.

Pub Date: Nov. 16th, 2006
ISBN: 0-307-26299-5
Page count: 352pp
Publisher: Knopf
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15th, 2006




Kirkus Interview
Carl Hiaasen
author of RAZOR GIRL
November 7, 2016

In Razor Girl, Carl Hiaasen’s new novel, when Lane Coolman's car is bashed from behind on the road to the Florida Keys, what appears to be an ordinary accident is anything but. Behind the wheel of the other car is Merry Mansfield—the eponymous Razor Girl—and the crash scam is only the beginning of events that spiral crazily out of control while unleashing some of the wildest characters Hiaasen has ever set loose on the page. There's Trebeaux, the owner of Sedimental Journeys--a company that steals sand from one beach to restore erosion on another…Dominick "Big Noogie" Aeola, a NYC mafia capo with a taste for tropic-wear…Buck Nance, a Wisconsin accordionist who has rebranded himself as the star of a redneck reality show called Bayou Brethren…and Andrew Yancy—formerly Detective Yancy, busted down to the Key West roach patrol after accosting his then-lover's husband with a Dust Buster. Yancy believes that if he can singlehandedly solve a high-profile murder, he'll get his detective badge back. That the Razor Girl may be the key to Yancy's future will be as surprising as anything else he encounters along the way—including the giant Gambian rats that are livening up his restaurant inspections. “How can Hiaasen possibly tie together all this monkey business in the end?” our reviewer asks in a starred review. “His delirious plotting is so fine-tuned that preposterous complications that would strain lesser novelists fit right into his antic world. Relax, enjoy, and marvel anew at the power of unbridled fictional invention.” View video >

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