STORMY WEATHER by Carl Hiaasen
Kirkus Star


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A hurricane, passing over southern Florida, leaves in its untidy wake the usual Hiaasen carnival of knaves and fools. Listen up now, because there's going to be a quiz on how the hurricane changes everybody's plans. Animal farmer Augustine Mojaki suddenly finds himself on the road hunting down a covey of escaped snakes, monkeys, rare birds, and the occasional water buffalo. Advertising exec Max Lamb, determined to spice up his honeymoon with bride Bonnie by videotaping the storm's devastation, falls into the clutches of Skink, a demented one-eyed kidnapper. Edie Marsh, who came to the Sunshine State planning to seduce and file rape charges against one of the younger male Kennedys, joins forces with a recent manslaughter alumnus to fake an insurable accident, but then lucks into smarmy trailer salesman Tony Torres's plot to scam his own insurer and, incidentally, his estranged wife. Tony is in turn urgently sought by professional goon Ira Jackson, bent on avenging the mother who died in one of the double-wides Tony guaranteed would withstand gale-force winds, and by Ira's trailer-park neighbor Levon Stichler, bereft not of his wife but of the urn containing her ashes. Jim Tile, the black highway patrolman sworn to protect Skink's anonymity--did we mention that the maniac kidnapper is also a former governor of Florida?--gets derailed when his intimate fellow officer Brenda Rourke is savagely beaten after a routine roadside pullover--as if anything routine ever happened in this riotously corrupt world. And don't worry about the cast members: When they wear out, Hiaasen just slips new ones into the deck. Here's the quiz, then: Is a new bride abandoned by her husband more likely to find happiness with a peripatetic zookeeper or the husband's kidnapper? Lacks the powerfully satiric center that gave Strip Tease (1993) such an edge, but sinfully madcap all the same. If you're not laughing by page six, you need a complete checkup.

Pub Date: Aug. 24th, 1995
ISBN: 0-679-41982-9
Page count: 352pp
Publisher: Knopf
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1st, 1995

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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