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4.3 out of 5 stars122
4.3 out of 5 stars
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Carl Hiaasen never runs out of satiric material when he mines the demographics of Florida, and this time around he's drawn a bead on Medicare scammers (the medical scooter), filthy restaurants, McMansion builders, retirees with too much money and too many houses and power boaters. Somewhere in the middle of this hilarious stew is the story of an Oklahoma school teacher who takes up with her underage AP student and follows up with an "alumni" program a few years later.

"Bad Monkey" features the usual off-center protagonist with the right moral compass but an unerringly capacity to alienate the establishment (his police department employers, in this case). The book opens with the discovery (on the end of a sport fishing line) of a human arm with the middle finger in the upright position. It romps from that point forward. And the monkey of the title? Well, the sidebar in this otherwise Florida-centric story is the inclusion of a Bahamas location, where the villains and heroes duke it out with a humble fisherman who has lost his house to a developer. Also on hand is a sex-crazed senior citizen voo-doo queen and an out of work and out of sorts capuchin monkey. The latter (thankfully) is not portrayed as cute or heroic, though he does have one glorious moment when confronted by a black-hat opponent.

Funny, funny read. May Hiaasen and Florida never stop producing this stuff.
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on 2 October 2015
Hiaasen is a total master of the genre. Mind you not too many guys target ecological crime writing as a career; so let us safely say that he is the most famous and best of all Norwegian-American ecological crime-writers ... there I have said it
The plot may be a tad thinner than usual here but it is all more than compensated by the fact that his writing style seems to be getting more and more tight and to the point through the years. I have read most of the earlier works and his prose on the page is now crisper tidier the images clearer and more HD than ever before; some writers like musicians lose their sharpness as time unfolds but not he; in the words of Lou Reed: "As a good wine he gets better as he gets older"
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on 22 October 2013
I love the humour and the larger than life characters. The real delight is when the little man takes on the might of the corrupt powers and wins; if only the real world was as just.
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on 14 June 2016
It is over seven years since I last read a Carl Hiaasen book (read everything up to Nature Girl) and I had forgotten how much I enjoyed them; for me, he really is the American Tom Sharpe (or is Tom Sharpe the British Carl Hiaasen?).
This is vintage Hiaasen, with outlandish characters, ridiculous situations, over the top action, plenty of rude, crude and nasty and loads of quality humour - fun, easy reading.
Warning - if you have a weak stomach and vivid imagination, give this one a miss, as some of the restaurant inspector passages might start you on an unintended diet.
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on 14 October 2013
It's probably true that Hiaasen has written better novels that Bad Monkey, but he is so far ahead of anyone else in the genre of comic crime fiction that I can forgive him a slight lapse and still recognise the work with five stars.

There are some moments of absolute hilarity in the book and as usual it is populated with the weirdest characters even Florida could produce.

The plot meanders a little but when a new Hiaasen is such an event to be celebrated that's okay.

I for one am alraedy anticipating the next volume!
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on 24 July 2013
Another good yarn by one of my favorite authors. Although l have not travelled to Florida the keys ,everglades and beaches of south Florida come to life with the witty writtings of this author I have read all his novels and possess 80% of them.
You have to keep putting the books down to indulge in a good belly laugh.
A true humerous look at the way of Floridian life. The greed of the estate/builder person comes through in every book also the nuttines of some USA citizens.
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on 28 November 2013
I was rather disappointed by this novel. It retains the weirdness and eccentricity characteristic of Hiassen's work, but not the social concern often to be found in them. It is also overlong for its content.
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on 12 June 2015
I loved this crazy book! It is the usual Hiaasen careering from one ridiculous disaster to another. The monkey has to be the head of a massive corporation for sure....The reason for 4 stars is only that Skinny dip made me laugh out loud so much whilst flying to the USA I was embarrassed!! Behind all the madness is a very real message of greed & the disgraceful lengths property development will go to to make the bucks. Treat yourself & laugh out loud.
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on 18 June 2013
This was meant to be a light, fun read, but it did little for me. Hiaasen is described as "the funniest crime novelist to put pen to paper" and he may be, but he isn't with this novel.

Andrew Yancy is a former cop who loses his position for disciplinary reasons and ends up as a food inspector. He still goes island-hopping, however, because he is driven to find out what happened to the owner of an arm which is washed ashore. Other characters include a monkey - which has nearly a chapter devoted to it, at one point - and a voodoo queen. So you do probably have the ingredients for a fun read. The execution, however, was just not to my liking and I didn't find myself laughing too often, nor getting too engrossed in the mystery.

Most is resolved at around the 3/4 mark and the balance of the book really drags. I thought there might be another twist or two to come but instead it was just a really protracted and uneventful close.

There were no typos in the Kindle version, but question marks were used in some strange places.

In short, a light read which didn't deliver either the intrigue or humour I hoped would be there.
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on 4 February 2016
I hadn't read any of Carl Hiaasen before but I thoroughly enjoyed this book. The main character is a detective investigating a murder but the sub-plot concerns itself with comedy and some marvellous characters. I had a problem in understanding some of the American slang dialogue which held me up a bit but otherwise it was good.
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