28 January 2013 Leave a comment
Author: Carl Hiaasen.
Summary: Somebody wants Mick Stranahan dead. He knows this because he’s just had to spear an intruder with a stuffed marlin’s head. And that wasn’t the first time. There was the plastic surgeon with extremely shaky hands… the personal injury lawyer with the beaming billboard face… the vanity-crazed star of TV’s In Your Face… and the high-stepping hit man with the moonscape skin. Not to mention the barracuda. The whole thing is downright harrowing.
Rating: ★★★☆☆ 3/5
Review: Hiaasen’s books are easy reads, they entertain. But i doubt i will ever give one of his books more than three stars. Sure, i laugh out loud pretty often, or smile when the bad guy gets himself deeper into trouble, and pull a face at but secretly enjoy the graphic violence. But those alone does not a good story make. I can enjoy a book without it being a good book.
Hiaasen is not terribly good with characters. I will admitting to liking two of the characters in this book. But they were the bad guys, so i don’t think i was supposed to. They were simply the most entertaining. I loved reading about Chemo’s disfigured face and the way he dealt with people who didn’t say very nice things to him about it. I loved reading about Rudy’s mishaps in the operating theatre and how he attempted to cover them up.
Perhaps the fact that i enjoyed reading about what those two characters got up to was why i found the end so unsatisfying. I’m not meant to be unhappy at the fact they won’t get to have any more misadventures. But it’s more than that. There was a good amount of build up to the final show down, but the showdown itself seemed lacking. Not enough banter, not enough action. It just kind of fell flat.
And i didn’t like any of the ‘good guys’. I use inverted commas because the good guys were nefarious in the way they went about catching the bad guys. Which is fine by me. But when the good guys are also pretty nasty and miserable, it does not endear me to them. Even Al Garcia, a recurring character in Hiaasen’s books, was unlike-able in this book. The good guys were just so boring and unhappy in an unentertaining way.
I don’t even want to get started on the female characters. Hiaasen simply can not write a realistic and believable female character. They are stereotyped beyond belief, and it makes me sick and angry. We have the young, busty, naked sunbathing girl who wants to sleep with any man who crosses her path. We have the bimbo airhead actress who wants surgery to reignite her career. We have the bitter ex-wife who won’t give up on revenge even though she’s remarried to a rich guy. And we have the married-to-her-job woman, who’s only interested in the guy for her work, but by the end has quit her job and spends her time trying to find the guy she initially didn’t want. How can every female character in a book be defined by her physically appearance (and obsession with) or a man? I could spout angry words about this for a long time, but i shall refrain.
That’s kind of all i’ve got to say. It’s an okay book. Easy to read, sometimes really funny and sometimes really bad. It lacks substance. It lacks believable characters that i want to care about. It’s great to read when you don’t want to think, but that’s about it.