Bad Monkeyby Carl Hiaasen
Andrew Yancy—late of the Miami Police and soon-to-be-late of the Monroe County sheriff’s office—has a human arm in his freezer. There’s a logical (Hiaasenian) explanation for that, but not for how and why it parted from its shadowy owner. Yancy thinks the boating-accident/shark-luncheon explanation is full of holes, and if he can prove
Andrew Yancy—late of the Miami Police and soon-to-be-late of the Monroe County sheriff’s office—has a human arm in his freezer. There’s a logical (Hiaasenian) explanation for that, but not for how and why it parted from its shadowy owner. Yancy thinks the boating-accident/shark-luncheon explanation is full of holes, and if he can prove murder, the sheriff might rescue him from his grisly Health Inspector gig (it’s not called the roach patrol for nothing). But first—this being Hiaasen country—Yancy must negotiate an obstacle course of wildly unpredictable events with a crew of even more wildly unpredictable characters, including his just-ex lover, a hot-blooded fugitive from Kansas; the twitchy widow of the frozen arm; two avariciously optimistic real-estate speculators; the Bahamian voodoo witch known as the Dragon Queen, whose suitors are blinded unto death by her peculiar charms; Yancy’s new true love, a kinky coroner; and the eponymous bad monkey, who with hilarious aplomb earns his place among Carl Hiaasen’s greatest characters.
Here is Hiaasen doing what he does better than anyone else: spinning a tale at once fiercely pointed and wickedly funny in which the greedy, the corrupt, and the degraders of what’s left of pristine Florida—now, of the Bahamas as well—get their comeuppance in mordantly ingenious, diabolically entertaining fashion.
From the Hardcover edition.
“[A] comedic marvel . . . [Hiaasen] hasn’t written a novel this funny since Skinny Dip. . . . Beautifully constructed.”
—Janet Maslin, The New York Times
“[A] deliciously zany romp. Buckle up for the ride.”
“Bad Monkey boils over with corruption and comeuppance. And yes, there’s a monkey.”
—O, The Oprah Magazine
“[A] rollicking misadventure in the colorful annals of greed and corruption in South Florida. . . . Hiaasen has a peculiar genius for inventing grotesque creatures . . . that spring from the darkest impulses of the id. But he also writes great heroes.”
—Marilyn Stasio, The New York Times
“This ‘Triple-F’—fierce, funny, and Floridian . . . enfolds corruption, greed, mayhem, and very funny social satire in the way that only Hiaasen does it.”
“[Hiaasen is] one of America’s premier humorists.”
—Rege Behe, Pittsburgh Tribune-Review
“No one writes about Florida with a more wicked sense of humor than Hiaasen.”
—Jocelyn McClurg, USA Today
“The gold standard for South Florida criminal farce.”
“Inspired . . . Another marvelously entertaining Hiaasen adventure.”
“Hiaasen is laugh-out-loud funny and thoroughly entertaining.”
—Thomas Gaughan, Booklist (starred)
Praise for the work of Carl Hiaasen
“Carl Hiaasen isn’t just Florida’s sharpest satirist—he’s one of the few funny writers left in the whole country . . . I think of him as a national treasure.”
—Malcolm Jones, Newsweek
“Does anyone remember what we did for fun before Hiaasen began turning out his satirical comedies?”
—Alan Cheuse, San Francisco Chronicle
“Hiaasen [is] a superb national satirist . . . A great American writer about the great American subjects of ambition, greed, vanity and disappointment.”
—Mark Harris, Entertainment Weekly
“Hiaasen’s wasteland is as retributive as Cormac McCarthy’s, but funnier. . . . [His] pacing is impeccable, and the scenes follow one another like Lay’s potato chips.”
—John Leland, The New York Times Book Review
“Hiaasen [is] king of the screwball comedies . . . A truly original comic novelist . . . The charismatic, animated characters deliver lines that will bring tears of laughter to even the most jaundiced readers . . . This is top-notch storytelling by a truly original comic novelist.”
—Clayton Moore, Rocky Mountain News
“Carl Hiaasen is a lot like Evelyn Waugh. . . . Both simmer with rage; both are consumed with the same overwhelming vision . . . [both] write the funniest English of this century.”
—Carolyn See, The Washington Post
“Hiaasen [is] in the company of Preston Sturges, Woody Allen, and S. J. Perelman.”
—Janet Maslin, The New York Times
“A big-hearted and deeply funny book . . . All of Carl Hiaasen’s obsessions are on full-tilt boogie.”
—Adam Woog, The Seattle Times
“Hiaasen, like Elmore Leonard, shouldn’t be missed. . . . Hiaasen throws his colorful characters into an increasingly frenetic mix, and the fun lies in watching how, or if, they’ll manage to extricate themselves.”
—David Lazarus, San Francisco Chronicle
“Whenever it seems as if he might be running out of oxen to gore, Hiaasen comes up with fresh victims for his killing wit. [He is] Florida’s most entertainingly indignant social critic . . . Outlandish events soar on the exuberance of Hiaasen’s manic style, a canny blend of lunatic farce and savage satire.”
—Marilyn Stasio, The New York Times Book Review
“A whole lot ‘Survivor,’ a little bit ‘The Tempest,’ with a pinch of Laurel and Hardy . . . Hiaasen is always good for a number of laugh-aloud scenes and lines . . . His ear is pitch-perfect.”
—Alan Michael Parker, Atlanta Journal-Constitution
“Hilarious . . . A lifelong resident of the Sunshine State, [Hiaasen’s] novels have always addressed the state’s ecological and social ills with scathing satire, ironic comeuppance and an ever-evolving sensibility.”
—Dan Lopez, Time Out New York
- Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
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- Random House
- NOOK Book
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Read an Excerpt
On the hottest day of July, trolling in dead-calm waters near Key West, a tourist named James Mayberry reeled up a human arm. His wife flew to the bow of the boat and tossed her breakfast burritos.
“What’re you waiting for?” James Mayberry barked at the mate.“Get that thing off my line!”
The kid tugged and twisted, but the barb of the hook was imbedded in bone. Finally the captain came down from the bridge and used bent-nose pliers to free the decomposing limb, which he placed on shaved ice in a deck box.
James Mayberry said, “For Christ’s sake, now where are we supposed to put our fish?”
“We’ll figure that out when you actually catch one.”
It had been a tense outing aboard the Misty Momma IV. James Mayberry had blown three good strikes because he was unable to absorb instruction. Dragging baits in the ocean was different than jigging for walleyes in the lake back home.
“Don’t we need to call somebody?” he asked the captain.
The hairy left arm was bloated and sunburned to the hue of eggplant.
A cusp of yellowed humerus protruded at the point of separation, below the shoulder. The flesh surrounding the wound looked ragged and bloodless.
“Yo, check it out!” the mate said.
“What now?” James Mayberry asked.
“His freakin’ finger, dude.”
The victim’s hand was contracted into a first except for the middle digit, which was rigidly extended.
“How weird is that? He’s flippin’ us off,” the mate said.
The captain told him to re-bait the angler’s hook.
“Has this ever happened out here before?” James Mayberry said. “Tell the truth.”
“You should go see about your wife.”
“Jesus, I’ll never hear the end of it. Louisa wanted to ride the Conch Train today. She did not want to come fishing.”
“Well, son,” the captain said, “we’re in the memory-making business.”
He climbed back to the bridge, radioed the Coast Guard and gave the GPS coordinates of the gruesome find. He was asked to remain in the area and look for other pieces of the body.
“But I got a charter,” he said.
“You can stay at it,” the Coast Guard dispatcher advised. “Just keep your eyes open.”
After calming herself, Louisa Mayberry informed her husband that she wished to return to Key West right away.
“Come on, sugar. It’s a beautiful morning.” James Mayberry didn’t want to go back to the dock with no fish to hang on the spikes—not after shelling out a grand to hire the boat.
“The first day of our honeymoon, and this! Aren’t you sketched out?”
James Mayberry peeked under the lid of the fish box. “You watch CSI all the time. It’s the same type of deal.”
His wife grimaced but did not turn away. She remarked that the limb didn’t look real.
“Oh, it’s real,” said James Mayberry, somewhat defensively. “Just take a whiff.” Snagging a fake arm wouldn’t make for as good a story.
A real arm was pure gold, major high-fives from all his peeps back in Madison. You caught a what? No way, bro!
Louisa Mayberry’s gaze was fixed on the limb. “What could have happened?” she asked.
“Tiger shark,” her husband said matter-of-factly.
“Is that a wedding band on his hand? This is so sad.”
“Fish on!” the mate called. “Who’s up?”
James Mayberry steered his bride to the fighting chair and the mate fitted the rod into the gimbal. Although she was petite, Louisa Mayberry owned a strong upper body due to rigorous Bikram yoga classes that she took on Tuesday nights. Refusing assistance, she pumped in an eleven-pound blackfi n tuna and whooped triumphantly as it flopped on the deck. Her husband had never seen her so excited.
“Here, take a picture!” she cried to the mate, and handed over her iPhone.
“Hold on,” James Mayberry said. “Get both of us together.”
Louisa watched him hustle to get ready. “Really, Jimmy? Really?”
Moments later the captain glanced down from the bridge and saw the mate snapping photographs of the newlyweds posed side by side at the transom. Their matching neon blue Oakley wraparounds were propped on their matching cap visors, and their fair Wisconsin noses practically glowed with sunblock.
Louisa Mayberry was gamely hoisting by the tail her sleek silvery tuna while James Mayberry wore the mate’s crusty gloves to grip his rancid catch, its middle finger aimed upward toward the puffy white clouds.
The captain dragged on a cigarette and turned back to the wheel.
“Another fucking day in paradise,” he said.
Meet the Author
Carl Hiaasen was born and raised in Florida. He is the author of twelve previous novels, including the best-selling Lucky You, Nature Girl, Sick Puppy, Skinny Dip, and Star Island, and four best-selling children’s books, Chomp, Flush, Hoot, and Scat. His most recent work of nonfiction is The Downhill Lie: A Hacker’s Return to a Ruinous Sport. He also writes a weekly column for The Miami Herald.
From the Hardcover edition.
- Tavernier, Florida
- Place of Birth:
- South Florida
- Emory University; B.A., University of Florida, 1974
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
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Carl Hiaasen has a very distinct writing style and he serves up a doozy of a tale in Bad Monkey. Hiaasen is one of my favorites and Bad Monkey does not disappoint.
Once I got started, I couldn't put this book down. It was a great book from start to finish. There are lots of fun twists and turns. Five stars.
I loved Bad Monkey. It is a total literary departure from the norm. The characters are well developed. The plot line swims along beautifully. All lin all, a great book.
I am a long-time fan of Hiaasen, and I usually prefer his earlier books, but Bad Monkey is FANTASTIC! I've had a rough few weeks with few smiles, and it's the one thing that had me shaking with laughter and scaring people on my commute as I cackled in glee over Drigg's and Yancey's misadventures. READ IT! And for the adults who are still scared of "bad words" -seriously? Grow up.
Bad Monkey is a wonderful book. It is my first time reading the work of Carl Hiaasen and I was very surprised at just how much I loved his writing. The characters are well developed and the plot is strong. I really enjoyed this book and fully recommend it.
As a die-hard Carl Hiaasen fan, I did not find this to be amongst his best. Still enjoyable, but not a favourite. However, if you are new to Carl Hiaasen it will still serve as a great introduction to his quirky take on Floridians and their environs. It will peak your interest enough to look into his other books and meet Skink!
Fun Novel With A Zany Cast of Characters Andrew Yancey is having a rough time. He is about to lose his job. It turns out that cavorting about with the wife of a rich and politically well doctor, then publicly assaulting the doctor in a fight is not the best way to keep your job in the Sheriff’s office. Even though he is about to by cashiered the Sheriff asks Yancey to do him a little favor. It seems that a human arm has turned up on the fishing line of a tourist. The Sheriff would like to pass the problem off to Miami. So he asks Yancey to take the arm up from the Keys to the city in the hopes that this case will go away. Miami doesn’t want the arm, the Sheriff doesn’t want the arm. Yancey thinks that there may be foul play. In the meantime Yancey is given a new job as a Health Inspector. Counting roaches and rat droppings is not why he went into law enforcement. So he keeps the arm in his freezer hoping to solve the crime and get reinstated. This fun novel has a cast of zany characters and hilarious scenes. As Yancey tries to solve a crime that no one even thinks happened he is also waging a private war against a developer who is building a huge mansion next door to his home. He is getting to know a new girlfriend, a coroner, who has some interesting ideas about how to have a good time. He has an Oklahoma lawman asking questions about the married woman he was having an affair with. As if that wasn’t enough he also has to deal with a voodoo queen in the Bahamas who has a voracious appetite for men, a shady real estate deal, and a fisherman who just wants his land and his obnoxious pet monkey back. While the characters are quite funny and even enjoyable at times they aren’t always very likable. After all the “hero” of our story is a cop who likes to get high and fool around with married women. The dialogue is fun and well written for the most part. The only real problem with the novel in the Bahamian patois. Writing in patois is difficult and reading it is even more difficult. I found it very hard to “hear” the dialect as I was reading. Perhaps that is just my own problem and others will find those passages easy to read. Don’t let this one quibble get in the way of reading the novel. I had a good time reading it and more than once attracted attention to myself by laughing out loud while I was reading it.
I've read several of Carl Hiaasen's books over the years. When his first few came out, I thought they were clever and funny; however, enough is enough!! This book, like his last 3 or 4, is just a rehash of the same theme over and over. They are uninspired and insipid; and, frankly, I couldn't even finish this one after paying a lot for it on Nook. Don't bother with this unless you've never read one of Hiaasen's books before or unless it's free!!
I have read all the Hiaasen novels (with the exception of one or two of the teen books), and this one was just missing something. In earlier books, I found myself laughing so hard, tears blurred the pages. I'd have to recover to go on, and they were page turners, really fun to read. Bad Monkey had potential, an improbable and quirkly story line, but didn't have the level of humor I've come to expect from Mr. Hiaasen. I could care less about the "bad language" that others seem to think was offensive. That simply added to the character development. However, the attempt at phonetically spelling out the patois was a stumbler for this reader despite it probably being intended as character defining. In several places, it was, what the heck did he just say? I was hoping for cover-to-cover entertainment, and it was just kind of okay, a little dull in places. The main characeter, Yancy, was kind of hard to like, and maybe that was intentional, but he had no cause other than himself -- very different from the cautionary environmental heros of earlier books. Okay, okay, the little deer of the island got spared, but, they were only collaterally saved by accident, not because of anything Yancy actually put himself out there for. No one in this book was even slightly likeable, and therefore not too interesting. My favorite Hiaasen book was Lucky You. Side-splitting hilarious!! This one, not so much.
It's a good mystery and fun to read.
Hiaasen is a talented author of black humor, but I've read too many of his books. I felt like I'd read this before. Skin Tight is still my favorite of his books.
This book is not my type of genre, but I read it for a friend who truly loves this genre. The book is entertaining.
Very entertaining and engaging. I laughed out loud several times. Most fun I've had reading a book all year. Much better than his earlier novels, and those were great, too.
This book was typical for Carl Hiaasen. A bit strange, a bit fun, a bit interesting. So often you get one of those "can't put down books". This was not one of those although I did find it interesting and amusing. It was certainly not a great piece of literature but was a fun summer read.
...I love Carl Hiaasen! He is absurd and somewhat vulgar. His plots are absurd! His characters are absurd and quirky and flawed. And yet beneath all the absurdity, is a cynical jibe ar society's relationship with our environment as well as our greed and wayward moral compass. Still, with all that going on, his stories are tight and well crafted and strangely plausibleand you never know what direction the story will take. Oh yeah, he often makes me laugh out loud! Bad Monkey is typical Hiaasen. Andrew Yancy is climbing the law enforcement career ladder...backward! Starting with Miami-Dade P.D., moving to detective with the Monroe County Sheriff's Dept. and finally getting demoted to Restaurant Inspector. So when a tourist reels in a human arm and the story doesn't seem quite right, Yancy see's it as an opportunity to maybe get back in the Sheriff's good graces and get his job back. But first he must negotiate his way through a plethora of strange, evil, lazy, self absorbed characters to get to the truth and bring the neer-do-well to justice. And don't forget about the monkey! If you're offended by strong language and/or sexual situations, this isn't for you. For that matter, neither are any of Hiaasen's other adult books. So save your time, money, and our review space. If these things don't bother you, have fun and enjoy the ride!
Many years ago, I read a book by Carl Hiaason and thought it pretty underwhelming. I figured I'd try another to see if he had improved. He hasn't. Not a "romp"; a drunkard's walk. there are so many better stories available. But, "Whatever sells". The publisher is as much to blame for this junk as the writer.
I'm sorry ,but his book the Bad Monkey was a terrible book.It was filled with nothing but sex constanly and I'm no prude,but enough is enough.It was even hard to find sory in their somewhere.It should have warned me about the amount of sex so I didn't use my money on that kind of book.
Hiaasen’s great strength is his characters. Here we have a disgraced detective with a pedophile paramour, a timid sheriff, a gorgeous coroner, a desperate conman, the conman’s gold digging wife, and, of course, a very bad monkey. When a fisherman snags a human arm off the Keys, boating accident and shark attack look like all there is to it. Detective Yancy, on leave for sodomizing his mistress’s husband with a Dust Buster and reassigned to roach inspector, knows in his gut that there is more to the story, so he begins an unauthorized investigation with the help of the very sexy Miami medical examiner. Throw in numerous scam artists, a few murders, some eco-vandalism, a voodoo priestess, a little arson and a hurricane and you’ve got pure Hiaasen. Oh, I almost forgot, there is even a cameo appearance by Johnny Depp.
Take a Monroe County (Florida Keys) detective busted down to restaurant inspector, a medical examiner with an interest in a little kink on the side, a doctor’s wife with a secret past and the good doctor himself with a secret present and a past incident he only wishes was kept secret, a voodoo priestess, etc. etc., and top it off with the arm of a former scam artist and an ill-behaved monkey rumored to have worked with Johnny Depp on the “Pirates” movies – and you get a satiric masterpiece that could only come out of the mind of Carl Hiaasen. Like a good sports fisherman in South Florida, Hiaasen made sure he hooked me at the earliest opportunity, gave me a little slack, pulled back … and eventually landed me. I have yet to read (or in this case, listen to) a Hiaasen novel I haven’t liked, and his most recent work ranks right up there with his other masterpieces. Numerous subplots swirl around, sometimes coming tantalizingly close to each other or even touching, until they begin to come together as the novel reaches its climax and conclusion. Of course, a few recurring gags, one of my favorite features of the authors’ works, can be found, as well. Unlike his earlier works, Hiaasen actually moves a good deal of the action out of South Florida. Admittedly, the Bahamas isn’t THAT much of a stretch, BUT it did constitute a risk for the author – one which I believe paid off. Carl, you’re going to have to write just a little faster … the only one of your novels (excepting the YA ones) I haven’t read yet is Skin Tight. I’m afraid to start it, because once I’ve caught up, what will I have to look forward to. This book meets all of my qualification for 5 stars. It grabbed and kept my interest, I liked the characters, I could feel the locale almost as though it were another character in the book, and it feels like it will stay with me after I’ve moved on to my next book. POSTSCRIPT: I listened to this novel on an audio book, read by the memorable Arte Johnson. I was a little disappointed in that the man who created so many memorable characters on Laugh-In back in the late 1960s stayed relatively subdued as he gave voice to the characters in the novel. But midway through the CDs, I realized this was by design. Mr. Johnson recognized that these were Hiaasen’s characters, not his own, and he wisely avoided the temptation to allow his vocal exaggerations to distract from what was already a funny text.
get to the story already and stop writing in the "language" ... half way through .. couldnt get to the end...
Not his worst but not his best by far. My favorite of his will always be Stormy Weather. For the readers who say this will be the first & last of his to read....please go to the early ones with the character SKINK.
To me he is probably the wittiest writer in America today. He seems to be able to take any subject or character and write a hilarious or tongue-in-cheek picture that is just hysterical. This book represents a typical Hiaasen story; it is a comical but honest depiction of life in south Florida, the Keys and Bahamas with a little crime and punishment added.
Carl Hiassen has done it again. Bad Monkey was funny & an enjoyable read
Love the characters and plot lines - really brings the Keys characters to life.
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