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Sick Puppy [Hardcover]

Carl Hiaasen
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (28 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Feb 2000
When Palmer Stoat notices the black pickup truck following him on the highway, he fears his precious Range Rover is about to be carjacked. But Twilly Spree, the man tailing Stoat, has vengeance, not sport-utility vehicles, on his mind. Idealistic, independently wealthy and pathologically short-tempered, Twilly has dedicated himself to saving Florida's wilderness from runaway destruction. He favors unambiguous political statements -- such as torching Jet-Skis or blowing up banks -- that leave his human targets shaken but re-educated.

After watching Stoat blithely dump a trail of fast-food litter out the window, Twilly decides to teach him a lesson. Thus, Stoat's prized Range Rover becomes home to a horde of hungry dung beetles. Which could have been the end to it had Twilly not discovered that Stoat is one of Florida's cockiest and most powerful political fixers, whose latest project is the "malling" of a pristine Gulf Coast island. Now the real Hiaasen-variety fun begins . . .

Dognapping eco-terrorists, bogus big-time hunters, a Republicans-only hooker, an infamous ex-governor who's gone back to nature, thousands of singing toads and a Labrador retriever greater than the sum of his Labrador parts -- these are only some of the denizens of Carl Hiaasen's outrageously funny new novel.

Brilliantly twisted entertainment wrapped around a powerful ecological plea, Sick Puppy gleefully lives up to its title and gives us Hiaasen at his riotous and muckraking best.

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Alfred A Knopf; First Edition edition (Feb 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0679454454
  • ISBN-13: 978-0679454458
  • Product Dimensions: 24.5 x 17 x 3.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (28 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,753,023 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.

Product Description

Amazon Review

Carl Hiaasen's characters ride and flail on little verbal hurricanes, and his literary storm shows no signs of dying down. Sick Puppy shares Dave Barry's giddy gift for finding humour in South Florida horrors, and a bit of Elmore Leonard's genius for pitch-perfect dialogue spouted smartly by criminals who are as dumb as stumps. The title of Hiaasen's eighth novel could apply to most of its characters, but it chiefly refers to an ebullient Labrador retriever named Boodle and the millionaire eco-terrorist Twilly Spree. Let's just say that Twilly has a singular affliction: poor anger management in the face of environmental irresponsibility. When he spots Boodle's owner, Palmer Stoat, tossing litter from a car, Twilly goes to Stoat's home and removes the glass eyeballs from the animals that the bloated lobbyist had shot and mounted on his walls. Boodle gulps down the eyeballs, sustaining no small amount of digestive difficulties.

Soon Boodle and Stoat's wife, Desie, are fugitives from Florida's nature despoilers (who include the Governor, a "glad-handing maggot," the amusingly slimy Stoat, the human bulldozer Krimmler, the cocaine-importer-turned-developer Clapley, and the hit man Mr. Gash, who's fond of sex with multiple beach bimbos in iguana-skin sex harnesses to the tunes of The World's Most Blood Curdling Emergency Calls). Desie, who has a knack for calamitous romance, is smitten with Twilly but urges him not to kill any litterbugs or pelican molesters: "Jail would not be good for this relationship." What keeps pure farce at bay in a novel that romps with the abandon of a scent-crazed Labrador is the otherwise charming Twilly's creepy edge of implacable fanaticism. And what redeems the funny/ugly violence from cliché is its colourful bad guys (they're as iridescent as oil slicks), Hiaasen's excellent wit and the music of his prose. To evoke a drunk asleep on the beach, he adds a pungent detail: "a gleaming stellate dollop of seagull shit decorated his forehead."

Hiaasen is not unflawed. His original eco-terrorist character, ex-Florida governor Clinton "Skink" Tyree, seems like an interloper from the earlier books. However, Hiaasen's the master of madcap ensembles (which is partly why the star-vehicle film of his fine book Strip Tease flopped). Even when you can see a chase scene's denouement coming for a beachfront mile, each paragraph packs descriptive delights to keep you going at breakneck pace. --Tim Appelo --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


"'The funniest crime novelist to put pen to paper' - Evening Standard; 'A story that'll make you roar with laughter' - Mirror; 'Arguably his best novel yet' - Heat; 'A refreshing, exhilarating read' - Observer; 'Savage and very funny' - Sunday Telegraph; 'Hiaasen is untouchable' - The Times" --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Possibly his best ever. 3 July 2001
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I've read and enjoyed all of Hiaasen's books. 'Sick Puppy' was for me the best of them all and a real return to form for Hiassan. Buy this book if you love to laugh out loud as the scene's are painted out and the imagery builds in your head. Great characters combined with Hiassan's trademark tactic of creating totally believable situations and then just tipping them over the edge into almost riotous farce. If you like Tom Sharpe, you'll love this.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Superb characterisations, absurd situations 13 Aug 2001
By A Customer
This book had me thinking how great if the Coen brothers made a movie out of this story. Strong visualisations abound. Anyone who has been to Florida and in particular the coastal-strip developments, will be prompted to think back to what it was like before the bulldozers buried the toads. The characters are very well crafted if a little predictable. A thoroughly enjoyable off the wall eco-romp.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
What other author is socially aware, enviromentally keen and uproariously bloody funny? Why, that would be the ubiquitous and omnicognisient fellow Hiaasen who can reflect the sick muggy twilighted world of Florida better than Florida can do so in reality. And I'm a true blue Australian; fancy that, eh? Yes, Hiaasen is quite the showman and is entirely perennial, and after reading my first Hiaasen novel not long before this one--"Native Tongue"--I was undeniably itching to read another Floridean Whackos Chronicle from the penman of the best protagonists found in realistic fiction. "Sick Puppy" is an ineffable menagerie of eccentric and bawdy characters, but it is much better complemented by the strong characterizations, the water-proof tight plotting and the satiric human observations which make you want to lie down before getting vertigo. Oh, and they make you laugh quite a bit as well. In my mind, I believe that it was Hiaasen and Quentin Tarrantino who founded this genre of excellence, and the Brits--Ben Elton, Robert Llewellyn and of course the majestic Guy Ritchie--have been attempting to steal it, and quite successfully so in later years. Yet "Sick Puppy" once again reassures which nation of red and white dappled stars actually secures the ability to use this genre in the best way. It's essentially black humour, and albeit one would not appellate it intrinsically as comedic, it is certain wry, and very, very funny. Twilly Spree is a preferable character to the tight-lipped Joe Winder, and Palmer Stoat--to all intents and purposes--shines as the unruly and unkempt antagonist. Our old companion Skink has once again an elongated (yet comfortably long) cameo, as does the ritualistic trooper, Jim Tile. Read more ›
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fast and funny with powerful message 2 July 2001
By A Customer
This was my first Hiaasen novel and I'll make sure it won't be the last. The action flies along at a fair old rate and our eponymous hero, Twill Spree is so flawed you just have to relate to him. Hiaasen's Florida is one where tourists, youngsters and ignoramuses (ignoramii?) couldn't care less about the litter they leave behind. The powerful eco-message is delivered through Twilly's acts of vengeance, some of which make you laugh yourself off whichever chair you're sat on. I was on holiday when I read this and it made me feel embarassed to be English. It was the first time I'd really noticed the litterbugs at work and I found myself shouting at some 5 year old who'd dropped a gobbet of chewing gum next to my sunbed.
Excellent, excellent fun and Mr Gash will surely go down in history as the most obnoxious hitman ever. The 'acquisition' of spare dog parts and discovery by the police is a spark of genius too.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Hiaasen at his usual best 11 Sep 2007
By Saffron
This is typically Hiaasen - set in Florida, including an ecccentric eco-warrior, a beautiful woman, a truly repulsive baddie and numerous corrupt politicians bent on despoiling the beauty of Florida's coastline. As with all Hiaasen's work, good triumphs over evil, the baddies suffer painful and ignoble deaths. The reader is left with a sense of temporary satisfaction - the plan has been thwarted this time, but we just know that someone else will try it again soon.

I love Hiaasen's novels - they are easy to read, fast-paced and witty, with the usual thumbnail character sketches fleshing out absurd characters that are strangely realistic. The storylines are a little formulaic, but if it ain't broke, don't fix it. if you haven't read Hiaasen, do start - you won't be disappointed.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The world needs more Twilly Sprees 25 Dec 2006
For anyone who has been to Florida and only seen the concrete of the highway, the shopping malls and the coastal hotels. Twilly Spree and ex-Governor Clinton Tyree's respective campaigns to clean up Florida both environmentally and politically are hilarious, as are the sheannigans of the various scum-bags they run across. Very funny!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fun read! 25 July 2000
A witty, sad, frightening tale of an ecco-terrorist who reeks havoc on the lives of those he catches in criminal acts against the enviorment. When main character, Twilly Spree, catches powerful and successful lobbyist Palmer Stoat, emptying the contents of his fast food lunch from his car window, Spree swings into action, and dumps a ten mile mound of garbage on Stoat's brand new parked BMW convertibile. This fast pace page turner is filled with intrigue, murder,and romance ... you won't be able to put it down. After reading "Sick Puppy," Your recycle bin will never look the same! I also just finished "A Tourist in the Yucatan" an interesting Thriller/mystery/adventure.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant read as always
Can't read enough of this guys books, each one different funny and incredible storylines, well worth more thasn one read
Published 12 months ago by J. A. Miniello
4.0 out of 5 stars Appals and entertains
Can politicians, developers and lobbyists be this corrupt? Are the book's seedier episodes realistic? Probably yes to both, sadly. Read more
Published 13 months ago by JoTownhead
5.0 out of 5 stars All OCDs must read this!
The only book which I have read recently which has made me laugh even more is Carl Hiaasen's "Star Island". Am on the lookout for more of this author's work. Read more
Published 13 months ago by Malinda
5.0 out of 5 stars Great value
I'm a great fan of Carl Hiaasen & this book is as good as his others I have read. I bought this 2nd hand & it was in really good condition.
Published 14 months ago by Robyn C
3.0 out of 5 stars OK
I found this book was quite gripping and funny at times, yet at others it was a bit sick and it had many deranged characters. Not recommended for the light hearted I suppose. Read more
Published on 19 Jan 2010 by leora
3.0 out of 5 stars Not Hiaasen's Best
Carl Hiaasen is one of those authors I read when I'm in the mood for something light and inconsequential and there's nothing else which meets that bill that catches my fancy. Read more
Published on 24 Mar 2009 by C. Green
3.0 out of 5 stars Same old, same old...
This is the fourth book I've read now from The Talented Mr Hiaasen however, having enjoyed most of his previous output, I'm now beginning to tire of the formulaic structure that he... Read more
Published on 4 Mar 2009 by Harry Biscuit
4.0 out of 5 stars Quite funny, but very important
The blurbs tell us what a "laugh-out-loud" writer Hiaasen is, but he only made me chortle a couple of times. Compared to Janet Evanovich, he's strictly amateur. Read more
Published on 7 Oct 2008 by E. W. Collier
4.0 out of 5 stars Pristine Florida?
Carl Hiaason has got his writting style back. Outrages and funny at times. The charcaters are colorful and memorable. Even the labador, Boodle. Read more
Published on 7 Oct 2007 by M. A. Ramos
4.0 out of 5 stars Good fun book that is not for kids
I read this book on the recommendation of a friend. I was intrigued by the description of the Hiaason books: "They are sort of thrillers, but a bit silly but good fun. Read more
Published on 17 Dec 2004 by S. Greig
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