Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Native Tongue

Native Tongue is an old one by Carl Hiaasen but also one I had never read so while I was trying to make my new-old library work for me, I checked it out. As a whole, I find his books entertaining so I figured I’d probably like this one too.

Joe Winder works in PR at the Amazing Kingdom of Thrills, a second rate amusement park in Southern Florida that is currently plagued by scandal. Two of their prized attractions, the blue-tongued mango voles (some sort of small animal) have been stolen. Joe and his boss Charles Chelsea try to spin the story in their favor and keep honcho of the park, Francis X. Kingsbury from firing them. Something is amiss with the voles, however, and Joe intends to get to the bottom of it. After the death of a park veterinarian and some strangeness on the side of the burglars and other nature radicals, Joe finds himself thrust into a tangled web of cover-up, deceit, bribery, crazy jungle men, roided out security guards, and in an all around mess.

Hiaasen’s books generally follow a large cast of characters and Native Tongue was no different. Their plots are all interwoven so that by about the middle of the story, you start to see all of the connections, though in the beginning it can be tough to keep everyone straight. He also typically throws in some humor that garnered a few chuckles from me. I haven’t read anything by him in awhile and had forgotten about his haphazard (in a good way) style. I enjoyed Native Tongue but maybe not as much as some of his other ones. Check out Nature Girl if you’ve never read anything by Hiaasen before. Although, when I was finding the cover image to post here, there were lots of quotes about how Native Tongue sort of put him on the map, so I guess start wherever you want!

Rating: * * * 1/2

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