Our Pick For The Season… Maybe.

Nov 25, 2020 | 0 comments

As most of us know all too well, the world is full of wackos.  One of the wackiest (in a good way) is author Carl Hiaasen.  Nyel and I are reading his latest book, Squeeze Me, almost as we speak.  (Nyel is a day reader and a night sleeper; I am a day writer and a night reader…  Don’t ask.)

According to his website, Carl Hiaasen was born and raised in Florida, where he still lives.  A graduate of the University of Florida, at age 23 he joined The Miami Herald as a general assignment reporter and went on to work for the newspaper’s weekly magazine and prize-winning investigations team. Since 1985 Hiaasen has been writing a regular column, which at one time or another has pissed off just about everybody in South Florida, including his own bosses.

We met him at a Pacific Northwest Bookseller Association in the mid-’90s.  I can’t remember which of his books had just been published — the number to date is 35 — but we were already fans as were many of our Bookvendor customers.  He seemed like a “normal” sort of guy, although his ready sense of humor had just a bit of a twist to it.

Carl Hiaasen

Without revealing much of anything, I’ll tell you a little bit about his latest.  It is set in Florida (as are most of his books) and opens with the disappearance of a wealthy elderly woman.  She belongs to a group of like-minded 70-and-80-year-olds who have been married multiple times to ever-richer husbands and who have formed a group called the “POTUS Pussies” proclaiming brassy loyalty to the new, crude-spoken commander-in-chief.  The incident takes place at a high-end (so to speak) fund-raiser for Irritable Bowel Syndrome.

By the time you learn this much, you are on Page 2… and the 336-page story gets stranger and more improbable as you proceed.  Although… there is enough “reality” to make you wonder,   And, if you don’t already feel a perverse affection/aversion to the “Everglade State” — also called the “Sunshine State.,” The Orange State,” “The Alligator State,” and “The Flower State,”  among others. — your impressions by book’s end are bound to be affected, or perhaps conflicted.

I’m not sure this is the perfect book for reading over the holidays.  It is anything but warm, fuzzy, and nostalgic which are feelings we’ve learned to associate with this time of year.  On the other hand… this year is different.  And here’s a book to match!



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