Carl Hiaasen recently came out with a satirical novel called Star Island that has been a big hit, and is in the top 10 on the Kindle Bestseller list. Star Island features a 22 year old pop princess named Cheryl Bunterman (Cherry Pye) who gets sucked into the perils of drinking, drugs and sex. Cherry is surrounded by an entourage dedicated to maintaining her image while she ends up in one rehab center after another. The novel is an imaginative, yet seemingly accurate spoof on the lives and activities of Lindsay Lohan, Britney Spears and Paris Hilton, as well as the general modern pop star scene.
If you aren’t familiar with Hiaasen’s work, one of his older novels, Stormy Weather, is a good one to start with. It is set in Florida, which is the setting for most of Hiaasen’s books, during Hurricane Andrew, a devastating hurricane that struck Florida in the mid 1990’s. The plot involves scam artists, corrupted politicians who are destroying the environment and an offhanded swipe at Disney World. Reviewers say that Hiaasen manages to let his imagination run wild with outrageous characters, but somehow the story maintains a natural flow.
Skinny Dip is another novel that Hiaasen is well known for. Chaz Perrone finds out that his wife Joey has discovered his dealings with a crooked tycoon to pollute the Florida Everglades. He tries to throw her off a cruise ship to get rid of her, but she survives and seeks revenge. She does so by messing with his mind and driving him insane. Not knowing what someone is going to do can definitely drive a person nuts.
I think it is awesome that Hiaasen just lets his imagination loose when setting up the plot for his books. He touches on issues that are very real in today’s society. But, his books are much more of a beach read flavor than a philosophical discussion one.
Have you read any of Hiaasen’s books? What do you think about them?