Skinny Dip (Review)

Labels: A Lighter Touch


Skinny Dip
Carl Hiaasen, 2004
355 pp.

Book Review by Molly Lundquist
September 2008

Joke: guy dumps his wife overboard. She hits the water and wonders, "We've been married only two years...what did I do to deserve this?" Struggling for life, she runs down a list of possible offenses, including overcooked chicken, dozing during hockey games and—this is good—joining a weekly book club!

Shouldn't be, but this is funny stuff, and that's Carl Hiaasen for you.

Hiaasen, also a writer of children's fiction (Newberry Prize for Hoot), is best known for his mad-cap comedic crime stories. He uses humor to make the most despicable thugs endearing, in this case a guy named Tool. Even the murderous husband, Chaz, can't bring himself to kill anyone, even when he's got a gun pointed in the right direction.

It won't spoil things to tell you that the Joey, the "dumped" wife, survives and plots revenge on Chaz. Along the way, she uncovers dasterdly deeds to despoil the Florida everglades. Hiaasen's stories usually have a serious political undergirding, but his humor deflects any preachiness.

In all honesty, I don't think this book will generate much discussion unless you want to talk about big political topics—environmental protection and political corruption. (There are no reading guide questions from the publisher.) But maybe you're tired of intense debates and want a break. This is a book to sit back with—and have a hoot. Who can't use that!

Oh, one more thing: there's some pretty frank sexual lingo used, which may or may not be to your liking. Just to let you know.


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