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Paradise Screwed: Selected Columns of Carl Hiaasen [Paperback]

Carl Hiaasen , Diane Stevenson

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Book Description

13 Sep 2009
Carl Hiaasen takes you on a wide-ranging safari, observing south Florida's wildlife in its natural habitat -- from fat-cat politicians to migrating mobsters, drowning dolphins to stray chads. This collection of Miami Herald columns -- written with a satiric wit and biting humor -- will give Hiaasen fans a glimpse of the facts that inspire his frenetic fiction.

Harking back to the muckraking journalists of old, Hiaasen lets readers in on the comings and goings of corrupt local politicos, misguided tourist bureaus, and flailing sports franchises. He tackles such current events as the Elian Gonzalez imbroglio and the 2000 presidential election recount. All in all, more than two hundred columns chronicle the everyday circus that gives south Florida a flavor and a flair all its own.

Since 1985, Hiaasen's twice-weekly, "baseball-bat-to-the-forehead" column has given the average citizen a voice. A staunch defender of his native state, Hiaasen isn't afraid to take anyone on, including environmental despoilers, Big Tobacco, and the NRA. But as proven in his first collection of columns, Kick Ass, his righteous rage and spirited wit resonate far beyond the Sunshine State -- and show readers a world-class journalist in his element.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 418 pages
  • Publisher: University Press of Florida; Reprint edition (13 Sep 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0813034280
  • ISBN-13: 978-0813034287
  • Product Dimensions: 22.5 x 15.5 x 2.6 cm
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,194,890 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Carl Hiaasen was born and raised in Florida. He is the author of twelve novels, including the bestselling Nature Girl, Skinny Dip, Sick Puppy and Lucky You, and three bestselling children's books, Hoot, Flush and Scat. They have been translated into 34 languages, 33 more than he can read or write. Carl Hiaasen also writes an award-winning column for The Miami Herald.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 3.4 out of 5 stars  55 reviews
19 of 21 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good, But Not As Good As The First Hiaasen Compilation 7 Jan 2002
By K. Palmer - Published on
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Carl Hiaasen's second compilation of his Miami Herald columns continues to show the biting wit which is prevalent in his usually terrific novels. But my guess is that the first book of columns "Kick" was probably designed to be the Best of Hiaasen with no plans for a sequel. Thus the columns contained in "Paradise" are the second cut and thus just not as good, although they are enjoyable to read. Not as many idiotic South Florida politicians this time around, not as many idiotic citizens. I was also disappointed in the way he handled the Florida election fiasco for the 2000 Presidential election. This was a topic just made for his humor, but he chose to use his forum as a soapbox to get a recount and to get Al Gore elected (he doesn't say it, but it was pretty obvious to me). My hope is that he plans to use this as fodder for a future novel and thus wanted to save his material.
Hiaasen is a great columnist. I live over 1,000 miles away from South Florida, but he gets his point across pretty well. It would have been nice if each story had a little afterword as to what ultimately happened to the people in the column (i.e. did the politician give up his $15,000 desk that was paid for with taxpayer money voluntarily).
Good for the Hiaasen completest, but the first book "Kick" is the better choice.
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A crusader with a sense of humour 5 Dec 2002
By J. Elliott - Published on
I love this man's writing! I started with his fiction and having devoured all there was of that at the time I stumbled on his first book of Miami Herald columns. I bought Paradise Screwed as soon as it was out.
The really exciting thing about Carl is that he takes on the corruption and the sleaze and the bizarre goings on in Florida and makes people aware of them through witty yet hard hitting writing. He isn't afraid to make waves and when you read this book you will begin to wonder about the greasing of the wheels in State politics.
He is passionate about his home state and what is happening to it and as a visitor to Florida on more than one occassion, he has really made me think about the affects of inconsiderate development and tourism.
But even if you aren't keen on any of that, the columns are clever and well written, so it's well worth the read.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Even Better Than His Best Novels 2 April 2004
By "susanmusiccity" - Published on
I wish I could say I was a rabid Carl Hiaasen fan like a lot of people who seem to love all of his novels, because I love to read and love good writing, and Hiaasen's writing style is always excellent. I loved "Tourist Season", "Sick Puppy", and "Stormy Weather", but thought that he was pushing it a little in some of his other novels like "Lucky You" and "Native Tongue" where the plots were, at least in my opinion a little contrived. So when I got this book, which is a collection of his newspaper articles for the Miami Herald, I wasn't sure what I was going to think about it.
It's excellent! I thought his best novels were very good but his true calling is his work as a reporter. The articles are meaningful in the way that he exposes corruption and the destruction of Florida's natural resources, but they're written with a great sarcastic wit. I know a little about South Florida politics and environmental issues, because we always vacation in Key West and you get the news on television from Miami, but you don't need to in order to enjoy this book tremendously. There are too many great articles in this collection to name them all, but the one about the "Incredible Shrinking Palm Trees" in particular is one of the funniest things I've ever read. This book is better than even his best novels, and the shame of it is that all of it is [unfortunately] true.
14 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What Michael Moore is to the nation, Hiaasen is to Florida 25 Mar 2002
By Amazon Customer - Published on
Another collection of "baseball-bat-to-the-forehead" columns in a similar writing style as Moore. Both men use biting satire and their wicked wit to tell you what they think, and are unafraid in doing so. Hiaasen is even more impressive I think because his substantive job is still journalism and yet he can find humor in real people and events as easily as in fiction.
These columns are a selection from over the last 20 years of events in South Florida. You don't have to go back any further than 2 years to Elian Gonzalez and the 2000 presidential election to know that there's enough grist-for-the-mill here to fill much more than one book on these two topics alone. Nevertheless Hiaasen reins himself in and spreads his verbal darts around. Topics covered include "Mayor loco", the soon-to-be-gone Marlins, Chads (not a person, those bits of paper, remember?) Dolphins (both the team and the ones that frequently drown offshore), Race Riots, a con artist doctor and a pet-hating extortionist. That's the more exotic stuff. Then there's the normal South Florida fare of crooked politicians, stupid state officials, assorted mobsters and mafia, drugs, guns, and general mayhem and madness. As Hiaasen said in a recent interview "all the paths of slime and disreputability seem to lead here."
The man is a Florida treasure and for those of us who live through what he writes about his humor is a saving grace. Very few of us can express it the way he does so he is our voice of reason saying yes, it's PARADISE SCREWED allright, but we're still alive we can laugh about it.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not a novel 14 Feb 2013
By texassage - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This is a collection of columns from the Miami Herold. Some reflect the type of writing and humor in his novels, (I think I have red all of them.) but most are diatribes against local corruption. I place this book slightly above his book on trying to go back to golf, which was pretty tiresome. I love his novels, but this in not one of them.
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