Carl Hiaasen at his very best 4 stars for the writing and story, another 1 3 for this having an even larger portion of humor 1 star for the blue tongued voles alone So that comes to all the stars We don t need no stinking literary super high quality We have blue tongued rodents and Skink When The Precious Blue Tongued Mango Voles At The Amazing Kingdom Of Thrills On North Key Largo Are Stolen By Heartless, Ruthless Thugs, Joe Winder Wants To Uncover Why, And Find The Voles Joe Is Lately A PR Man For The Amazing Kingdom Theme Park, But Now That The Voles Are Gone, Winder Is Dragged Along In Their Wake Through A Series Of Weird And Lethal Events That Begin With The Sleazy Real Estate Agent Villain Francis X Kingsbury And Can End Only One Way Native Tongue is my first Carl Hiaasen novel His writing style and approach reminds me of Joe R Lansdale, El Leonard, and Harry Crews Hiaasen makes reference to Harry Crews in this title I laughed out loud at reading his dark humorthan once I like the ecological theme, and how Skink strives to keep Florida s wild spaces, well, still wild Lots of bizarre and memorable characters populate the story I hope return to Mr Hiaasen s books in the near future He s won another fan.
This book hashilarious adventures of Skink , ex governor of Florida Some of the wacky characters are two misfit burglars, an obsessed older woman environmentalist who shoots people plus the owner and various employees of The Amazing Kingdom of Thrills amusement park All of these people interact and produce some laugh out loud lines.
5 starsJoe Winder is a journalist who is fed up with mainstream news so he takes a job as a publicity writer for a Disney like theme park This park also has animal exhibits one of which is of endangered voles The voles are stolen by a couple burglars hired by an environmental extremist The burglar idiots think they just have a couple of rats and decide it would be fun to throw one of the rats into passing convertible just for yucks.
Winder and his boss, Charles Chelsea, begin writing a series publicity articles that tries to twist the situation to makemoney for the theme park The theme park owner is out make a buck and uses any gimmick he can regardless if it is not entirely legit The park security is made up of thugs with the chief security man a bodybuilder hooked on steroids The theme park owner is also developing a waterfront condominium complex When they bulldoze the land by Winder s favorite fishing spot, he decides to go rogue.
The situation turns chaotic Skink, the ex governor turned environmental vigilante and hermit, turns up at strategic moments to save Winder s bacon As much as I enjoy Carl Hiaasen s books, Native Tongue was sort of a hit and miss proposition for me I m not sure why The story is well written The characters are the usual cast of eccentric old balls This is Book 2 of the Skink series I have read almost all of the books of the series out of order The books seem to read well as standalones because so few characters carryover from one book to the next Oh well, this a fun book with a story full of laughs.
I recommended this book to a large crowd of people in an airport one time because I was laughing so hard, snot was coming out of my nose and one lady finally said WHAT are you readingApproximately half of the crowd standing there wrote down the title and author hope they had the same snot laughing experience I had
By page 320 I was quite ready to put Carl Hiaasen s Native Tongue down As cleverly drawn as Hiaasen s characters are, it seems he was quite unwilling to let them go, and hence 100 pages after I was done reading, the book ended The story follows former investigative reporter turned PR man Joe Winder as his job and the events around it at the Amazing Kingdom theme park on North Key Largo turn from bad to worse Following the daytime kidnapping of two endangered mango voles, the park goes into panic mode, one that roller coasters into murder, arson, love affairs and accidental death via sex with dolphins Through all of this, Native Tongue conjures all the best of the South Florida mystery A former investigative reporter himself for the Miami Herald, Hiaasen peppers all of his prose with the obscure and eccentric journalistic detail that makes the Miami crime scene so interesting to follow In a way, the book even made me want to go home, to the mangoves and the warm waters, and this mind you, is not a feeling often inspired in me, so strip malled, traffiked, lack of insuranced and expensive is South Florida now.
Essentially, for a quick and thoughtless, though not thought numbing, read Native Tongue is an ideal pick, an airplane or travel book for sure, the type you read going from one place to the other.
A pair of blue tongued mango voles, perhaps the last on earth, are the sad victims of an indifferent heist by two inept burglars, Bud Schwartz and Danny Pogue The two thieves did not know the small creatures were voles they were under the belief they were rats, and while escaping from the theme park they had burglarized they had playfully tossed the animals into the open windows of the rented cars of tourists on the highway Since they had grabbed the box without opening it, they did not know there were only two voles inside They believed their employer, Molly McNamara, would not care if she got a box of rats minus the two who had somehow got out of the box As they drove to her house, they were already making plans for the money she would pay them.
Molly McNamara, as the President of the Mothers of Wilderness, an environmental activist organization she founded, hired the two young men to break into the animal labs at the Amazing Kingdom of Thrills to rescue them from the third rate Florida theme park, owned by a dreadful Florida land developer Francis Kingsbury Kingsbury had announced that he intended to breed the rare animals, whose habitat was being destroyed by golf courses and houses, in an attempt to save the species The Federal government helpfully gave him 2,000,000 after processing his paperwork on the breeding effort.
Of course, Kingsbury is actually a participant in the destruction of Florida s habitat His latest deal is adding a new golf course adjacent to the tourist theme park, but he needed funds Scamming the government with a vole breeding program seemed the perfect way to raise money for the golf course Now, he has several problems Fortunately, Joe Winder, one of Kingsbury s employees in the park s Publicity Office, along with Charles Chelsea, is a whiz at preparing public relations announcements for the press The two publicists create a positive publicity spin out of the disaster by thinking up the idea of a 10,000 reward for the return of the voles Winder has already decided he didn t like the spinning he is required to do for his boss, Chelsea, and the owner, Kingsbury, even if he is good at it Winder took the job because he needed the money he once was a reporter, but he had had a little incident which made certain he could no longer get a job as a reporter He regretfully is an honest man in a corrupt state Unknowingly, he is working for another corrupt Florida businessman.
There is another honest man in Florida, though Skink, the famous mystery madman of the Everglades, who was introduced in a previous book, Double Whammy and Joe Winder are now on a collision course of mutual environmental activism Hilarious hijinks ensue This novel can be read as a standalone While there are serious environmental issues fueling many of the motives and activities of the characters, the book is pure fun to read.
Mix Hiaasen s trademark hapless idiot criminals, burnt out losers, small minded grifters, and slimy real estate developers, add a cut rate theme park, shake with a dose of environmentalist headline grabbing, and poof you have the kind of book that makes summer beach reading so much fun.
What can I add that will make a difference Book s been out 20 years and there s already a gabloozel and six reviews, so pick it up Really, there is so much fun to be had in Hiaasenland it s a shame to miss out He writes very well built sentences, he creates recognizable characters, and he has a flensing knife of an eye for human nature If you haven t, please do if you have, but weren t amused, please try this one if you have and rolled around laughing, well, we re soul mates Will you marry me