Thoughts on books, often interpreted through the high-brow prism of cartoon (read: Archer) references. Wait! I had something for this...
This was actually my first foray into the works of Carl Hiaasen *gasp* – I know, it's hard to believe. I can't say I wasn't forewarned† that Bad Monkey might not make a great first impression for Carl (beloved by many whose opinions I hold in high regard). But, I've been known to disregard good advice before, so I forged onward.
"Have you ever been to Florida? It's a criminal population. It's America's Australia." - Jack Donaghy
This is just one of the many facts about life I learned from Jack Donaghy (30 Rock), and, seriously, in case you don't follow the exploits of the faux superhero, Florida Man,* it's kind of true. And, in many ways, this book is just one long series of Florida Man tropes, made extra special (for us literary folk) by their being located in Key West.
Our protagonist, Andrew Yancy, is a (former) cop, demoted to the position of food/health inspector, and trying to get back in good standing by hunting down the murderous source of an arm reeled in by tourists on a fishing charter. There are cheating wives (of the money grubbing type) on the lookout for new paramours and good plastic surgeons, sleazy real estate developers, voodoo queens, and, of course, the titular Bad Monkey, Driggs (who may or may not have played opposite Johnny Depp in "those pirate movies").
It was funny at times, but I just couldn't latch on to the characters for better or for worse. I'm not writing off Hiaasen (as mentioned, I was forewarned), but it felt like a parody that was drawn out just a bit too long.
So, I guess I'll leave you with one parting 30 Rock jab (enter Jack, dialing the Everglade State's 9-1-1):
"Thank you for calling Florida's emergency services. If this is regarding an anaconda in a crawl space, press 1. If a sinkhole full of Indian bones has appeared in your living room, press 2. If you want to know why JAG wasn't on this week, press 3."
* His "adventures" consist entirely of the (sur)real headlines that come out of the Sunshine State (e.g. "Florida man arrested for throwing dog poop at pregnant girlfriend" ; "Florida man attempts to pay water bill with crack cocaine" ; "Florida man stabs brother after macaroni and cheese goes missing" )