- Hardcover: 448 pages
- Publisher: University Press of Florida (30 Nov. 1999)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0813017173
- ISBN-13: 978-0813017174
- Product Dimensions: 23.4 x 16 x 4.3 cm
- Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,683,595 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Kick Ass: Selected Columns of Carl Hiaasen Hardcover – 30 Nov 1999
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More About the Author
About the Author
Bestselling author Carl Hiaasen has written Tourist Season, Strip Tease, Sick Puppy, Skinny Dip, and many other novels that have helped define Florida noir. He is also the author of three popular books for young readers, Hoot, Flush, and most recently, Scat. His nonfiction includes Team Rodent: How Disney Devours the World and Downhill Lie: A Hacker's Return to a Ruinous Sport. A Florida native and lifelong resident, Hiaasen still writes regularly for the Miami Herald, where he has worked for 33 years and where these columns first appeared. His Web site is www.carlhiaasen.com. Diane Stevenson teaches research writing in the psychology department at the University of Florida. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.
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Once again the Guardians of Miami's Image have been stung by a bolt of rotten publicity—the national Urban Stress Test that ranked the city dead last, citing overcrowding, lousy water and rampant crime. Read the first page
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Top Customer Reviews
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Like Molly Ivens, who can speak the truth and make us laugh about things that are probably worthy of tears, Hiaasen manages to ease the pain of much that he reveals in the columns by recasting it as comedy. He makes us laugh first, and then leaves us with troubled thoughts. Makes me wish he wrote for the Washington Post. The citizens of D.C. could use a good laugh at much that goes on. We just don't have a Carl Hiaasen here to do it justice.
Reading this book won't make one want to move to Miami, but it will make one want to read more Hiaasen. Always a pleasure.
Quite a bit actually. You see Miami seems to be a very strange place, and Mr. Hiaasen uses his formidable talent to poke fun at the poor city's innumerable peccadilloes. He considers Corruption in Politics to be one of the town's main industries, and gives us a lot of drug smuggling; indifference to the environment; tourist murders; locking up clowns; swimming in waters contaminated with fecal matter. Laughing at Miami's problems might even help us temporarily forget similar problems in our own hometown.
As they often say, truth is stranger than fiction. And often funnier, I might add. It's good Carl Hiaasen...and you really get your money's worth. It's no slim tome of essays; there are over 200 columns reprinted here giving us 450 pages of chuckles.
There's a lot more reasons for buying this book than you'd expect.
If you appreciate Hiaasen's "fiction," you'll love to read about the fountain of avarice and corruption from which it came.
If you are at all interested in the reality of politics and society in this country, this book will give you an eyeful.
And if you do happen to be a Florida citizen--or even a Florida visitor--you'll be well-served to get a synopsis of South Florida history as witnessed by Carl Hiaasen in the 15 years (and counting) that he's served as one of the Herald's most acerbic, witty, and controversial voices.
Unfortunately, the web was just in its infancy, and access to Hiaasen's newspaper writing was apparently one of the few exclusive benefits of living in South Florida. KICK ASS turns out to be just the sort of collection that I had been craving for many years.
KICK ASS does not disappoint. It begins with a nifty introduction that provides a smattering of biographical information on Hiaasen, as well as a context for the subjects and tone of his columns. Hiaasen clearly resides in a longstanding tradition of muckraking American journalism, and I mean that in the best possible way.
This is no mere sampling of his work -- there are more than 200 columns here, organized by topic, and just about every one of them meets the mandate stated in the title of the collection. Hiaasen has a passion for the environment, consumer protection, crime control, and good government. His portrait of a Florida reeling after the flood of growth and development of the last three decades is even starker than the one in his novels. Speaking of the novels, it is also fun to see where he "lifts" some of his ideas for the things that happen in his books. The overamorous dolphin of NATIVE TONGUE appears in KICK ASS as well.
If there is anything to regret about this book, it is that the topical organization often generates confusion for the reader when certain figures re-occur. Some of them almost develop a roguish charm. After all, us non-Floridians don't have to live with the direct consequences of local corruption. A little wrap-up to let us know how some of the notorious figures and controversies ended up would have been nice. I always hated that device at the end of his novels, but it would be perfect for a collection like this.