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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Why Did He Marry Me?
I strongly encourage you NOT to read either the jacket blurb or most reviews of this book. For some reason, people seem to want to give away most of this story to nonreaders. If you do read the spoilers, you will probably only think this a three or four star book . . . yet it is really a tour de force if you let Mr. Hiaasen work his magic without any preconceptions about...
Published on 2 Aug. 2004 by Donald Mitchell

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good - but not great.
I've been a fan for years and was surprised to be slightly disappointed by this latest offering. It's got all the usual trademarks - wacko people, ecological destruction of Florida, etc. but I felt it was all a bit too overdone. Basically, the story is about a wife whose husband tries unsuccessfully to kill her and who then plots a bizarre revenge. Unfortunately, about...
Published on 7 Oct. 2004 by Amazon Customer


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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Why Did He Marry Me?, 2 Aug. 2004
By 
Donald Mitchell "Jesus Loves You!" (Thanks for Providing My Reviews over 127,000 Helpful Votes Globally) - See all my reviews
(HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)    (VINE VOICE)   
I strongly encourage you NOT to read either the jacket blurb or most reviews of this book. For some reason, people seem to want to give away most of this story to nonreaders. If you do read the spoilers, you will probably only think this a three or four star book . . . yet it is really a tour de force if you let Mr. Hiaasen work his magic without any preconceptions about the story.
As the book opens, Chaz and Joey Perrone are enjoying their second wedding anniversary by taking a cruise that is about to return them to Port Lauderdale. But there's a problem! Despite experiencing great sexual energy, Joey finds herself unexpectedly not enjoying the bliss that such a trip might suggest. Clearly, something's very wrong with her marriage . . . and she doesn't have a clue!
The rest of the book develops for her the reasons why Chaz married her and why the marriage suddenly soured for him. Once she realizes what's been going on, she also wants revenge. What ensues is one of the funniest and most original turning-of-the-tables you can imagine. In the process, Joey learns a lot about herself and what she really wants from life.
As usual, Mr. Hiaasen draws imaginatively on the themes of how greed and self-interest cause people to lead artificial lives that threaten both the environment . . . and ultimately all of us. There's a brilliant symbol involving a deformed snake that makes this book haunting as well as humorous. Snakes also play symbolic roles in other parts of the story. Remember the garden of Eden whenever you read about a snake in this book.
The book does a superb job of helping many of its characters develop and grow based on their experiences. I thought that the evolution of the character named "Tool" was especially well done. Tool goes from being someone who blindly follows orders to someone who takes responsibility for his choices, and makes better ones than those who have been ordering him around. Joey, Ricca, Corbett, Karl, and Chaz also experience meaningful changes as they come to appreciate what they have done.
For long-time fans of Mr. Hiaasen's writing, you will be pleased to meet two old friends in this book.
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17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic!, 19 Aug. 2004
By 
M. Hughes (Glasgow) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Skinny Dip (Hardcover)
Why has it been three full years since Hiassen has written a novel for adults when he can churn out stuff this good?
The story of Joey, Stranhan, Chaz and Tool is right up there among the best that Hiaasen has ever produced, with a great set of characters who make an everlasting impression on the reader. The initial plot is almost (but not quite) farcical but works brilliantly because of Hiaasen's characterisation and humour. A novel about how to get revenge on those who wrong us; brilliantly executed as only Hiassen can.
I couldn't wait until October for this to be published in the UK and bought a copy from the United States... I'm so glad I did. It's my book of the year! Buy it!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good - but not great., 7 Oct. 2004
This review is from: Skinny Dip (Hardcover)
I've been a fan for years and was surprised to be slightly disappointed by this latest offering. It's got all the usual trademarks - wacko people, ecological destruction of Florida, etc. but I felt it was all a bit too overdone. Basically, the story is about a wife whose husband tries unsuccessfully to kill her and who then plots a bizarre revenge. Unfortunately, about halfway through I was getting annoyed with the wife and starting to side with the husband.
You'll also find characters from previous novels in here - and unless you've read them you are going to be very confused as to who they are and why they are what they are. There's also quite a lot of lecturing about the destruction of the Everglades which could have been done better. I know it's one of the author's favourite topics but it doesn't need the treatment it has here.
I've waited quite a time for this novel since his last one - and perhaps my expectations were too high.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Dissappointing...., 22 Oct. 2004
By A Customer
This review is from: Skinny Dip (Hardcover)
I'm a long time fan, I've read all the author's novels, but I found this book a little dissappointing. If you've never read Hiassen then you may find this book entertaining as it contains loads of the author's trademark quirky humour. However, to the dedicated fan, who has waiting a long time since Hiassen's last novel, this book seems a little sloppy. The book seems to be just pieces of previous works hobbled together. All the character types are recognisable, regular Hiassen readers will know what I'm talking about, we have met all these characters previously under different names. Hopefully the next outing will be a return to form.
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2.0 out of 5 stars Complete Lack of Character Credibility, 29 Sept. 2014
This review is from: Skinny Dip (Paperback)
I found this book highly recommended by contributors to Amazon's Fiction Forum. Interested, I decided to check out its feedback ratings in the Amazon bookstore and here too, its popularity was remarkably high. Thus, I started reading the book with a strong sense of anticipation. Yet, by this morning, having only got as far as the fifth chapter, I had decided that the time had come to chuck it in and return it to the library. I just couldn't comprehend where all these high star ratings were coming from. The characters, (especially the baddies), are as two-dimensional and unbelievable as any 1950s cowboy shoot-em-up. It seems like something written for a generation for whom the height of story-telling excellence was reached by Walt Disney's unvaryingly predictable interplays of saccharine-sweet, good boys and girls,... versus the arsenic-laced nasties.

The central idea around which the plot revolves and the use of dialogue, are both original and highly refreshing. But it's the author's totally slipshod attention to plausibility and detail in unfolding this plot, plus his evident lack of any concern about having created nasty characters who are not even remotely believable, that I object to. The author's ability is clearly there for all to see. What I simply cannot understand is why he uses his considerable talent to write a novel which, in the end, can at best only really aspire to reach the disappointingly mediocre level of a 'farce'.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars funny and clever, what more do you want?, 5 Sept. 2004
By 
Alice Clifford (Nottingham, United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Skinny Dip (Hardcover)
Having read most of the Brookmyre catalogue I was steered onto Hiaasen by a co-worker. Working in a bookshop and having no money (not linked...) I found a proof of this in the staff room and decided to give it a go (hey...it was free)
As this is the only Hiaasen I've read I can only review it as a book on its own and I was very impressed. It took a few chapters to get me involved but after finding out Joey (the wife pushed off the ship) was still alive and her devious plans to basically mess-up her husband it suddenly got very interesting.
Extremely creative plot with many twists and the most random characters you can find, who each have their own stories which eventually become one, from a suspicious python-loving detective to what only can be described as an ape-man with a liking for painkillers.
As with Brookmyre and other Hiaasen's, an important part of the book is the injection of humour, which Skinny Dip does not fail to deliver. I have to say some of the funniest incidents and comments come from the numerous times the husband Chad decides to dabble in viagra, usually at the worst times. I was also laughing out loud at a certain point which makes you question an alligators motive when seeming to be looking for a kill.....
....an interesting insight into alligator genitalia....
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4.0 out of 5 stars A dark, funny whydunit, 12 Jan. 2005
By 
Amanda Richards "Hotpurplekoolaid" (ECD, Guyana) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Skinny Dip (Hardcover)
Requiring slightly more effort than your average murder mystery, this book is so darkly funny and offbeat that you hardly notice it rambling on a little longer than necessary.
Taking a different approach, we learn "whodunit" at the very beginning, and spend several chapters figuring out the "whydunit".
Hiaasen bestows almost every unlikable characteristic possible on his leading villain, Charles "Chaz" Perrone, an appearance obsessed, smooth-talking, selfish, insecure, horn-dog, lazy, pseudo-intellectual biostitute with a dark secret.
Unfortunately for Chaz, his perfect murder backfires, as he proves conclusively that he is spectacularly inept in that department.
Stubbornly refusing to die according to plan, his victim clings to life via a passing bale of Jamaica's finest, and is fortuitously rescued by former policeman Mick Stranahan, who whisks his catch away to his island home.
From this moment, Chaz' perfect life takes a dramatic swing, and the blue "dysfunction" pills can only solve one of his many problems. He soon discovers that he hasn't got the testicular fortitude for recent events, and starts falling to pieces.
Although highly implausible, full of coincidences, and overly long, the colorful characters and graphic imagery combine with the dark humor to make this worthwhile, if rather light reading.
Amanda Richards
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Revenge has never been Sweeter!, 22 Mar. 2006
This review is from: Skinny Dip (Paperback)
As she is pushed off the cruise ship, Joey Perrone has no clue why her husband wants her dead. Joey survives the dive in the Gulf Stream and is rescued by an ex-detective, Mick Stranahan. Together, they cook up a satisfying revenge for her conceited husband, Chaz. His self-indulgence and fascination with sex is absolutely comical! Chaz deserves everything that happens to him. This was one of the most enjoyable, well-written, and hilarious books I’ve read in a long time. My only criticism is that Hiaasen's tirades about the treatment of animals and the Everglades, on every other page, become quite trite. That said, it is Hiaasen’s well-developed characters that make this an excellent read. I can't wait to read another Hiassen novel.
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13 of 16 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Humorous Mystery, 12 Sept. 2004
By 
Untouchable (Sydney, NSW Australia) - See all my reviews
One of the more satisfying discoveries for a dedicated crime and mystery reader like myself is the subgenre of humorous hardboiled crime. As paradoxical as it sounds, the combination of strong criminal themes and farce make for some very entertaining books. Elmore Leonard is a master as is Donald Westlake but the most consistently comical and original, in my opinion, is Carl Hiaasen. In SKINNY DIP, Hiaasen has once again presented us with a highly unlikely, yet hugely entertaining story, thrown in an array of unique characters resulting in a very fast-paced and enjoyable book.
When Joey Perrone is thrown overboard while cruising on a luxury liner off the Florida coast, she is too surprised to scream. At the time she was celebrating her second wedding anniversary and the main source of her shock came from the fact that it was her husband, Chaz who did the throwing. The thing that really has her perplexed is that this is the first sign that Chaz was less than happy with their marriage.
Joey is fortunate enough to grab hold of a passing bale of marijuana that happened to be floating by and manages to hold on until she is saved by Mick Shanahan. Shanahan is an ex-cop who has escaped the troubles of civilisation and now minds an island for a rich old Mexican author, giving him the solitude he enjoys. When he picks up Joey and hears her story he is all for calling the police and having Chaz arrested. Joey is not so eager, knowing the uncanny ability her husband has had at avoiding prosecution in the past. Besides, she still doesn't know why her husband tried to kill her, so she'd like to satisfy her curiosity and maybe get a little payback along the way - and it's the payback that provides a good deal of the entertainment.
Meanwhile, Chaz is doing his best impersonation of a grieving husband, distraught by the prospect of his wife falling overboard and either drowning or being eaten by a shark. From the very start we understand that Chaz is a disagreeable, self absorbed man, but as the story unfolds it becomes clear that the man is also an incompetent fool and we get to delight in the way his world falls apart thanks to his foolishness.
While he thinks he has committed the perfect murder, Detective Karl Rolvaag is more than a little suspicious and investigates strenuously, or at least, he does until Chaz's boss, a wealthy and therefore influential man, pressures the police department to show a little less enthusiasm. Of course, this doesn't sit well with Rolvaag at all and his efforts redouble in response.
Due to Chaz's incompetence, his boss assigns a bodyguard to watch over him, introducing us to my favourite character of the book, Tool. Tool is a hulking behemoth of a man simply covered from tip to toe in hair. He has a dependency on painkillers and a hobby of collecting roadside accident markers. It turns out he is wonderfully insightful - in a hairy, hulking behemothy sort of way - and turns out to have a touchingly soft side. Sure he's a drug dependent killer, but he is also stole every scene he was in.
This is a wildly amusing story with multiple storylines that careen toward each other resulting in a tremendous crescendo. Joey and Mick play out their revenge plot, Rolvaag plays his likable, competent detective role while Chaz doggedly digs himself deeply into trouble without ever being aware of how out of control his life has become.
Carl Hiaasen consistently produces highly amusing stories set in Florida and this is another fine example. His characters range from mildly offbeat (his police detective Karl Rolvaag is an excellent example) to outrageously out of control (and here I'm talking about Tool). Slipped in among the light tone and humorous attitude of the story, Hiaasen stealthily inserts his environmental messages. Although they are added with a derisive tone to them, they are obviously heartfelt comments about the way parts of Florida are being decimated through overdevelopment or just plain irresponsible human habitation. The clever thing about Hiaasen's environmental comment is that he doesn't take it so far as to feel as though he is preaching to us.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Take the plunge!, 8 Nov. 2004
By 
A. Skudder (Crawley, West Sussex) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 1000 REVIEWER)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Skinny Dip (Hardcover)
Fans of Carl Hiaasen will not be surprised to find that this book re-visits his usual (related) topics of environmental and ecological damage in Florida, and the apparent corruption of just about anyone in any position of authority. It will also be no surprise to find a character who is not too bright, hooked on prescription drugs and whose behaviour gets increasingly bizarre.
New readers might be pleasantly surprised to find that ecological vandalism and political and business corruption can be treated so hilariously. Although I personally prefer reading an author's books in the order they were written, someone could read this as an introduction to Carl Hiassen without any problem at all: all they would miss would be the warm glow of recognition when Skink makes a brief cameo appearance.
When I mentioned the corruption of anyone in authority, I forgot that there is an important exception. In Hiassen's books the Police, Coast Guard and similar organisations are not protrayed as corrupt but more as people who have recognised the futility of trying to win the war and get scraps of satisfaction from winning small battles.
In this case the corrution is supplied by a scientist who fakes water test results so that a tomato grower can continue to flood the everglades with fertilisers. The policeman has one eye on a transfer to Minnesota where the people and climate are more to his tastes. The skinny dip of the title is taken by the scientist's wife when he throws her off a cruise ship in a murder attempt.
Unfortunately (for the husband) the wife doesn't die, but she is not going to let her husband know this, figuring that her revenge is much more interesting if he thinks she is dead.
Anyone who has visited Florida on holiday, or is thinking of it, should read at least one Carl Hiassen novel to get an idea of events and issues that might not be apparent to the average tourist. And also to just have a good laugh. Its worth reading for the viagra overdose alone!
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Skinny Dip
Skinny Dip by Carl Hiaasen (Paperback - 1 Jun. 2005)
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