Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Skinny Dip - Carl Hiaasen

The Basics: Skinny Dip, Carl Hiaasen, 2004, 496 pages, paperback

How I found it: Greg gave it to me for Christmas after hearing about the author on one of the tech blogs he visits.

What's it about?: A pulpy revenge story in the vein of The Count of Monte Cristo, except set in crazy South Florida. Chaz throws his wife Joey off a cruise ship in an attempt to murder her. When she survives, she vows vengeance. Wackiness ensues.

Did I like it?: If you know me, you know I'm not a fan of pulp novels. However, this is pulp done right; this is pulp at its best. Apparently Hiaasen is known for his 'environmental thillers' so that aspect of the storyline sucked me right in. Tied up in all the murder, revenge and romance is the endangered ecosystem of the Florida everglades. The author raises awareness of the problems the everglades face while making it part of his plot. And it's a good plot. I couldn't see what was coming a mile away, and the characters, although caricatures at times, were fairly entertaining. Plus, having read The Count of Monte Cristo at age 8, I am always up for a good vengeance novel.

Will you like it?: If you need a lighter read, Carl Hiaasen is your go-to guy for well written pulp. I found this book a quick, easy and entertaining read and you probably will too.

But don't take my word for it: Reviews and info from, mostly positive reader reviews, one from, a review from (which actually specializes in Celtic stuff, not South Florida), a roundup of reviews from metacritic, and a link to FAQ for the book on the author's website.


  1. My recommendation for you: House of Whacks, by Matthew Branton. Not only is the book fantastic, it has a picture of Bettie Page on the cover! It's such a great book...if you have anything bad to say about it, then YOU'RE whacked. :~)

  2. I noticed on here that you can be a tough critic for revenge novels. I was wondering if you would let me know of a few of your favorites (besides Monte Cristo). I have been in a revenge movie and book kick lately and would love more suggestions.