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Bad Monkey

Overview

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 ...

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Bad Monkey

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Overview

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 just may be one of Carl Hiaasen's greatest characters.

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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble

Thanks to incidents such as punching out his girlfriend's husband, Andrew Yancy finds himself in severe career decline. The former Miami policeman is reduced to pinning his hopes for a reprieve on a frozen human arm. His attempts to reconnect it metaphorically lead him in directions perhaps best described as Hiaasenish. In fact, Bad Monkey arrives with his typically rowdy battalion of characters; in this case including the former owner of said limb; a persistent ex-lover; a Bahamian voodoo witch; a kinky coroner love interest; and the misbehaving prime of the title. Definitely worth a gander.

The New York Times Book Review - Marilyn Stasio
Any fears that Carl Hiaasen might be mellowing are put to rest by Bad Monkey, another rollicking misadventure in the colorful annals of greed and corruption in South Florida…Hiaasen has a peculiar genius for inventing grotesque creatures—like the monstrous voodoo woman known as the Dragon Queen and Driggs, a scrofulous monkey "with a septic disposition"—that spring from the darkest impulses of the id. But he also writes great heroes like Yancy and Neville…
The New York Times - Janet Maslin
Carl Hiaasen's latest comedic marvel…he hasn't written a novel this funny since Skinny Dip…with which his new one, Bad Monkey, shares some common ground. Both books begin with signs of lethal violence…Both involve scabby, furry creatures. And both touch lightly on Mr. Hiaasen's serious concern with toxic pollution…
Publishers Weekly
Hiaasen (Star Island) combines familiar themes with an inspired cast in this exercise in Florida zaniness. Andrew Yancy, who became an ex-cop after publicly assaulting his girlfriend’s husband with a vacuum cleaner attachment, is now on “roach patrol” as a restaurant inspector, but he soon gets a chance at redemption. Sonny Summers, the new Monroe County sheriff, tells Yancy to take a severed, shark-bitten arm snagged by a fisherman to Miami, where DNA identifies the limb as belonging to Nick Stripling, a retiree in his 40s whose boat was wrecked at sea. Stripling’s grown daughter, Caitlin Cox, claims after the funeral that her hated stepmother murdered her father, and Yancy sees proving the stepmother’s guilt as a way to return to the force. Add in some real estate shenanigans, a voodoo witch, and a deranged monkey, and you have another marvelously entertaining Hiaasen adventure. Author tour. Announced first printing of 250,000. Agent: Esther Newberg, ICM. (June)
From the Publisher
Praise for Bad Monkey
 
“[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.”
People
 
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.”
Reader’s Digest
 
“[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.”
Kirkus Reviews
 
“Inspired . . . Another marvelously entertaining Hiaasen adventure.”
Publishers Weekly
 
“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

The New York Times Janet Maslin
"[A] comedic marvel . . . [Hiaasen] hasn't written a novel this funny since Skinny Dip. . . . Beautifully constructed."
People
"[A] deliciously zany romp. Buckle up for the ride."
The Oprah Magazine O
"Bad Monkey boils over with corruption and comeuppance. And yes, there's a monkey."
The New York Times Marilyn Stasio
"[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."
Reader's Digest
"This 'Triple-F'-fierce, funny, and Floridian . . . enfolds corruption, greed, mayhem, and very funny social satire in the way that only Hiaasen does it."
Pittsburg Tribune-Review Rege Behe
"[Hiaasen is] one of America's premier humorists."
USA Today Jocelyn McClurg
"No one writes about Florida with a more wicked sense of humor than Hiaasen."
Booklist (starred) Thomas Gaughan
"Hiaasen is laugh-out-loud funny and thoroughly entertaining."
Kirkus Reviews
A severed arm that a visiting angler hooks off Key West kicks off Hiaasen's 13th criminal comedy. Though he's anything but eager to follow Monroe County Sheriff Sonny Summers' bidding and drive the arm to Miami to see if it belonged to some local stiff, the encounter Andrew Yancy has with Miami Assistant Medical Examiner Rosa Campesino, which ends with him taking the arm back home and parking it in his freezer, starts to change his attitude toward the case. Unfortunately, it doesn't change the fact that he's been suspended from the Sheriff's Department and banished to the gruesome post of restaurant inspector. But once the arm is identified as that of developer Nicholas Stripling, Yancy, calling himself "Inspector Yancy," takes it on himself to question Nicky's wife, Eve, his estranged daughter, Caitlin Cox, Eve's sworn enemy, and several other concerned parties. When two of these parties are shot to death very shortly after their chats with Yancy, he knows he's onto something, even though the imperviously obtuse Sonny Summers doesn't. Leaving behind his "future former girlfriend" Bonnie Witt, who's just revealed an unexpectedly colorful personal history to him, Yancy takes Rosa along to follow the arm's trail to Lizard Cay, Bahamas, where more crazies await: a toothless voodoo priestess called the Dragon Queen, her hapless client Neville Stafford, whose troubles bear an uncanny resemblance to Yancy's own, and his companion Driggs, a monkey reputed to have worked on the Pirates of the Caribbean movies. The mind-boggling plot will require yet another Hiaasen hurricane, a house fire, several perp walks for diverse felonies and a healthy dose of cleansing violence to bring down the curtain. Not as funny as Hiaasen's best (Star Island, 2010, etc.), with a title character more vicious than amusing, but still the gold standard for South Florida criminal farce.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780446556156
  • Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
  • Publication date: 2/24/2015
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Pages: 432
  • Sales rank: 162,038

Meet the Author

Carl Hiaasen
CARL HIAASEN was born and raised in Florida. He is the author of twelve previous novels, including the best-selling Star Island, Nature Girl, Skinny Dip, Sick Puppy, and Lucky You, and four best-selling children's books, Chomp, Hoot, Flush, 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.

Biography

When one thinks of the classics of pulp fiction, certain things -- gruff, amoral antiheroes, unflinching nihilism, and a certain melodramatic self-seriousness -- inevitably come to mind. However, the novels of Carl Hiaasen completely challenge these pulpy conventions. While the pulp of yesteryear seems forever chiseled in an almost quaint black and white world, Hiaasen's books vibrate with vivid color. They are veritable playgrounds for wild characters that flout clichés: a roadkill-eating ex-governor, a bouncer/assassin who takes care of business with a Weed Wacker, a failed alligator wrestler named Sammy Tigertail. Furthermore, Hiaasen infuses his absurdist stories with a powerful dose of social and political awareness, focusing on his home turf of South Florida with an unflinching keenness.

Hiaasen was born and raised in South Florida. During the 1970s, he got his start as a writer working for Cocoa Today as a public interest columnist. However, it was his gig as an investigative reporter for The Miami Herald that provided him with the fundamentals necessary for a career in fiction. "I'd always wanted to write books ever since I was a kid," Hiaasen told Barnes & Noble.com. "To me, the newspaper business was a way to learn about life and how things worked in the real world and how people spoke. You learn all the skills -- you learn to listen, you learn to take notes -- everything you use later as a novelist was valuable training in the newspaper world. But I always wanted to write novels."

Hiaasen made the transition from journalism to fiction in 1981 with the help of fellow reporter Bill Montalbano. Hiaasen and Montalbano drew upon all they had learned while covering the Miami beat in their debut novel Powder Burn, a sharp thriller about the legendary Miami cocaine trade, which the New York Times declared an "expertly plotted novel." The team followed up their debut with two more collaborative works before Hiaasen ventured out on his own with Tourist Season, an offbeat murder mystery that showcased the author's idiosyncratic sense of humor.

From then on, Hiaasen's sensibility has grown only more comically absurd and more socially pointed, with a particular emphasis on the environmental exploitation of his beloved home state. In addition to his irreverent and howlingly funny thrillers (Double Whammy, Sick Puppy, Nature Girl, etc), he has released collections of his newspaper columns (Kick Ass, Paradise Screwed) and penned children's books (Hoot, Flush). With his unique blend of comedy and righteousness ("I can't be funny without being angry."), the writer continues to view hallowed Florida institutions -- from tourism to real estate development -- with a decidedly jaundiced eye. As Kirkus Reviews has wryly observed, Hiassen depicts "...the Sunshine State as the weirdest place this side of Oz."

Good To Know

Perhaps in keeping with his South Floridian mindset, Hiaasen keeps snakes as housepets. He says on his web site, "They're clean and quiet. You give them rodents and they give you pure, unconditional indifference."

Hiaasen is also a songwriter: He's co-written two songs, "Seminole Bingo" and "Rottweiler Blues", with Warren Zevon for the album Mutineer. In turn, Zevon recorded a song based on the lyrics Hiaasen had written for a dead rock star character in Basket Case.

In Hiaasen's novel Nature Girl, he gets the opportunity to deal with a long-held fantasy. "I'd always fantasized about tracking down one of these telemarketing creeps and turning the tables -- phoning his house every night at dinner, the way they hassle everybody else," he explains on his web site. "In the novel, my heroine takes it a whole step farther. She actually tricks the guy into signing up for a bogus ‘ecotour' in Florida, and then proceeds to teach him some manners. Or tries."

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    1. Hometown:
      Tavernier, Florida
    1. Education:
      Emory University; B.A., University of Florida, 1974

Read an Excerpt

One

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.
 
“We do.”
 
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.

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