Carl Hiassen, Stormy Weather


Carl Hiaasen is the Maimi-based author of marvellously funny and ironic crime novels. Some have been filmed, but the novels themselves are highly regarded. Although a collected author this is one of the few signed limiteds he has done. This is well worth having on your shelf. Most copies were sold on publication.

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Carl Hiaasen was a reporter on the “Miami Herald” and found he could say a lot more through the medium of the modern noir novel. Following a couple of early efforts he got into his stride with Tourist Season (1986) and followed with titles that had a clever even ironic twist such as Double Whammy (1987), Native Tongue (1991) and Basket Case (2002). All of the novels are set in Florida – but this not the state you’d visit on your holidays. It is one of the most surreal and perverse places. The power-brokers and mobsters – however powerful usually end up in a dumptruck; while the heroes like Joe Winder in Native Tongue or the surprisingly strong Erin, dancer at the Eager Beaver in Strip Tease are sympathetically drawn characters that overcome the situation they find themselves in. As Bronwin says in her review, Stormy Weather (1996) follows Carl Hiaasen’s usual formula with its ‘normal’ cast of characters.

Carl Hiassen is one of the few crime and mystery writers that appeared on dealers sales lists under ‘literature’. This is partly because of the satirical quality of the novels and the social criticism they imply; which does have a space within mainstream American literature.  Although a notable writer he has issued relatively few special editions. This Scorpion Press edition is one of 85 signed and numbered copies in a special binding with an appreciation by Maxim Jakubowski. Maxim ran the Murder One bookshop in London for many years and is a respected editor and critic of crime fiction.

4.33 out of 5

3 reviews for Carl Hiassen, Stormy Weather

  1. 4 out of 5

    Rating by Bronwin on Goodreads on April 9, 2012 :

    found on Goodreads by Bronwin.
    “Stormy Weather follows Carl Hiaasen’s usual formula, with his normal cast of characters. The confused female victim of the greedy jerk rescued by the “crazy” recluse and the caring, law-enforcement hero. The story takes place in the Florida Everglades, as usual, and contains the author’s required amount of environmental “preachiness.”

    If Hiaasen’s books are all so predictable, why do I like reading them so much? Because he is an incredibly clever writer with a dark, twisted sense of humor that I truly enjoy. Because his stories move along at the perfect pace, with the right amount of satire and sarcasm and incredibly unique characters that you either want to get to know, or love to hate…”

  2. 4 out of 5

    Rating by Eric on Goodreads on April 9, 2012 :

    Goodreads review from Eric.
    “Virtually everyone and everything is corrupt, except perhaps the deranged ex-governor of the state, in Carl Hiaasen’s marvelously funny Stormy Weather.

    Bonnie and Max Lamb are on their honeymoon at Disney World when the one-hundred year hurricane hits. Max, being a good red-blooded American, immediately grabs his video camera and heads for the path of destruction to tape all the gore and devastation. Bonnie is not happy, feeling this is somehow disrespectful, but when Max is kidnapped by Skink, the ex-governor, who had tied himself to a bridge to enjoy the storm, and Max uses the phone calls allowed him by his abductor to phone his firm and check up on his advertising accounts, Bonnie begins to re-examine her new marriage. Especially, after she meets Augustine, the wealthy survivor of a plane crash, who had inherited his uncle’s wild animal zoo. The wild animals, released during the fury of the storm, proceed to wreak havoc on some of the low-lives who populate the novel. And there are plenty of them, from the building inspectors who hadn’t examined the buildings they had certified as windproof, to the salesman who sold the homes knowing they were unsafe, to the county prosecutor literally caught with his pants down in a compromising position.

    Hiaasen makes scornful fun of Florida society. Ultimately, it’s the ex-governor who may be the sanest of the bunch. Here’s an example of Hiaasen’s wit. He’s describing seven missionaries from the Church of the High Pentecostal Rumination who immediately proceed to Miami after the hurricane as they make a practice of witnessing to all natural disasters.

    “Every morning, the missionaries preached, consoled and distributed pamphlets. Then they stood in line for free army lunches at the tent city, and returned to the motel for two hours of quiet contemplation and gin rummy. The Ramada offered free cable TV, which allowed the Ruminators to view a half dozen different religious broadcasts at any time of the day. One afternoon,in the absence of a pure Pentecostal preacher, they settled on Pat Robertson and the 700 Club. The Ruminators didn’t share Robertson’s paranoid world view, but they admired his life-or-death style of fund-raising and hoped to pick up some pointers.”

    Another episode concerns a father’s despair for his son, a notoriously inept hunter. The father resolves to give up trying to teach his son the more subtle hunting techniques, particularly after the son mistakes a bald eagle for some less illegal bird and blows his father’s left ear off. The son is captivated by the hurricane, for it has turned loose hundreds of cattle and other farm animals into a land formerly devoid of animals worth hunting. Unfortunately, he mistakes a Cape Buffalo from the wild animal farm for a cow ….

    A wild, hysterical romp through society’s peccadilloes”.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Rating by Maxim Jakubowski on May 18, 2012 :

    Extract from the Appreciation by Maxim Jakubowski

    “This is not the Florida of the tourist brochures, even if the landscape is quite familiar, palm trees, beaches, all-over tans, Everglades vegetation, honeymoon hotels and all. This is the Florida that Carl Hiaasen, a journalist at the Miami Herald since 1976, has seen spoilt to the core by an influx of braindead tourists, unfettered greed and endemic corruption. A crusading columnist, Hiaasen gets his own back in his dark, comic novels and you just know he identifies profoundly with Skink, the only character who makes another return appearance here from previous, savage outings. Once, Skink was an idealistic politician who fought the system and the system won. Now, he has become a modern one-eyed pirate, a vigilante of eco-terrorism, living off the land, the scourge of all clumsy second division miscreants who foolishly cross his path. Hear Hiaasen chuckle as his favourite outlaw fights and maims the outrageous baddies, rescues damsels in distress in the strangest of ways, often gets badly beaten up himself in the pursuit of righteousness and scares the bejesus out of all who cross his path. In his first five novels of Florida-gone-bad Hiaasen has offered readers a splendid gallery of grotesques, larger-than-life villains of all ilk, crocodiles galore feasting on tourist flesh, crooked fishing contests, the other darkly sinister face of plastic surgery, chaotic leisure parks, strippers (do tell us, Carl, will Demi Moore take her bottom off in the forthcoming movie?) and sugar cane plantations (guess the connection) and tender portraits of thuggish lovers of cockroaches. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg, or should I say the swamp?”.

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