Lucky You

( 32 )


Grange, Florida, is famous for its miracles—the weeping fiberglass Madonna, the Road-Stain Jesus, the stigmata man. And now it has JoLayne Lucks, unlikely winner of the state lottery.

Unfortunately, JoLayne's winning ticket isn't the only one. The other belongs to Bodean Gazzer and his raunchy sidekick, Chub, who believe they're entitled to the whole $28 million jackpot. And...
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Grange, Florida, is famous for its miracles—the weeping fiberglass Madonna, the Road-Stain Jesus, the stigmata man. And now it has JoLayne Lucks, unlikely winner of the state lottery.

Unfortunately, JoLayne's winning ticket isn't the only one. The other belongs to Bodean Gazzer and his raunchy sidekick, Chub, who believe they're entitled to the whole $28 million jackpot. And they need it quickly, to start their own underground militia before NATO troops invade America.

But JoLayne Lucks has her own plans for the Lotto money—an Eden-like forest in Grange must be saved from strip-malling. When Bode and Chub brutally assault her and steal her ticket, JoLayne vows to track them down, take it back—and get revenge.

The only one who can help is Tom Krome, a big-city investigative journalist now bitterly consigned to writing frothy features for a midsized central Florida newspaper. With a persuasive nudge from JoLayne, Krome is about to become part of a story that's bigger and more bizarre than anything he's ever covered.

Chasing two heavily armed psychopaths down the coast of Florida is reckless enough, but Tom's got other problems—the murderous attention of a jealous judge; an actress wife who turns fugitive to avoid divorce court; an editor who speaks in tongues; and Tom's own growing fondness for the future millionairess with whom he's risking his neck.

The pursuit takes them from the surreal streets of Grange to a buzzard-infested island deep in Florida Bay, where they finally catch up with the fledgling militia—Chub, Bode Gazzer, a newly recruited convenience-store clerk and their baffled hostage, a Hooterswaitress.

The climax explodes with the hilarious mayhem that is Carl Hiaasen's hallmark. Lucky You is his funniest, most deliriously gripping novel yet.
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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
Hiaasen is a total original. While many are now doing their best to emulate his wacky style, none give it the justice it deserves. Lucky You is one of my favorite Hiaasen's. The story of two completely ludicrous, despicable characters who win the Florida State lottery but have to split the pot with another lucky ticket holder. Well, sharing just ain't in these guy's vocabulary. A totally hilarious, irresistible good time.

--Andrew LeCount

San Franciso Examiner
Lucky us -- one of the year's funniest books. Hiaasen is truly an American treasure.
Entertainment Weekly
Sledge-hammer wackiness never flags in this amusing tropical freak show.
Staff Newsday
Sophisticated...never less than completely entertaining.
Sophisticated. . .never less than completely entertaining.
Chicago Tribune
Hilariously subversive. . .wonderfully entertaining. Trust me, you'll love it.
Library Journal
JoLayne Lucks has one of two winning lottery tickets each worth a cool $14 million. She plans to spend it rescuing a local plot of swampland from a strip mall developer. The holders of the other winning ticket, however, are Bode Gazzer and his sidekick, Chubb, who want the whole $28 million. Afire with paramilitary fervor, Bode and Chubb need the cash to bankroll the start-up of the White Clarion Aryans before NATO takes over America with a handicapped parking sticker scam. They steal JoLayne's ticket, but before they can cash it she mounts a hot pursuit with the help of local journalist Tom Krome. As they chase Bode and Chubb through the swamps and sleazy dives, dodging bullets and local religious fanatics, Tom and JoLayne leave a wake of mayhem and hilarity. This is Hiaasen (Naked Came the Manatee) at his wacky besta steamy amalgam of raunch, righteousness, and riotous laughs. -- Susan Gene Clifford, Aerospace Corporation, El Segundo, California
Kirkus Reviews
As soon as an informative headnote warns that 'there is no approved dental use for WD-40,' you can relax, knowing that you're in for several blissful hours in the hands of a master farceur whose subject this time is what passes in South Florida for providence. Even though she's confirmed the winning numbers on her Lotto ticket, placid veterinary assistant JoLayne Lucks refuses to give an interview to rolling-stone 'Register' features writer Tom Krome. Hoping to rescue the turtles of Simmons Wood from mob-backed development by buying the parcel out of her half of the $28 million jackpot, she doesn't see any point in telling the world she's rich. Then, suddenly, she isn't, because the holder of the other winning ticket, halfwit white supremacist Bodean Gazzer, decides to double his own payout by heisting her ticket. Bode and his sidekick Chub have their own public-spirited vision for the prize: arming the White Rebel Brotherhood (membership 2 and growing) in preparation for the U.N.-sponsored invasion of the U.S. via all those unused handicapped-parking spaces. Along with the obligatory romantic complications, Hiaasen provides an alarmingly comical parade of spiritual counterparts to the providential nostrum of the Florida lottery: the weeping fiberglass Madonna, the Road-Stain Jesus, the miraculous apostolic turtles who bring nirvana to the features editor sent to retrieve Krome after he takes off with JoLayne in pursuit of the Lotto thieves. Not even Hiaasen (Stormy Weather, 1995) can sustain this balancing act forever, and eventually it collapses like a house of cards. But for an impossibly long time, the whole wild sideshow seethes and boils with all the grinningvitality of a 'Have a Nice Day' poster reimagined by Hieronymous Bosch. Just when you think Hiaasen can't outdo himself, he finds more lunatics who just happen to tap into your deepest fears about America. Makes you wonder.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780446604659
  • Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
  • Publication date: 10/28/1998
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Edition description: Reissue
  • Pages: 496
  • Sales rank: 170,619
  • Product dimensions: 4.25 (w) x 6.75 (h) x 1.12 (d)

Meet the Author

Carl Hiaasen
Carl Hiaasen is the author of six previous novels.
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    1. Hometown:
      Tavernier, Florida
    1. Education:
      Emory University; B.A., University of Florida, 1974

Read an Excerpt

The following excerpt is from Chapter 1.

On the afternoon of November 25, a woman named JoLayne Lucks drove to the Grab N'Go minimart in Grange, Florida, and purchased spearmint Certs, unwaxed dental floss and one ticket for the state Lotto.

JoLayne Lucks played the same numbers she'd played every Saturday for five years: 17-19-22-24-27-30.

The significance of her Lotto numbers was this: each represented an age at which she had jettisoned a burdensome man. At 17 it was Rick the Pontiac mechanic. At 19 it was Rick's brother, Robert. At 22 it was a stockbroker named Colavito, twice JoLayne's age, who'd delivered on none of his promises. At 24 it was a policeman, another Robert, who got in trouble for fixing traffic tickets in exchange for sex. At 27 it was Neal the chiropractor, a well-meaning but unbearable codependent.

And at 30 JoLayne dumped Lawrence, a lawyer, her one and only husband. Lawrence had been notified of his disbarment exactly one week after he and JoLayne were married, but she stuck with him for almost a year. JoLayne was fond of Lawrence and wanted to believe his earnest denials regarding the multiple fraud convictions that precipitated his trouble with the Florida Bar. While appealing his case, Lawrence took a job as a toll taker on the Beeline Expressway, a plucky career realignment that nearly won JoLayne's heart. Then one night he was caught making off with a thirty-pound sack of loose change, mostly quarters and dimes. Before he could post bail, JoLayne packed up most of his belongings, including his expensive Hermes neckties, and gave them to the Salvation Army. Then she filed for divorce.

Five years later she wasstill single and unattached when, to her vast amusement, she won the Florida Lotto. She happened to be sitting with a plate of turkey leftovers in front of the television at 11 p.m., when the winning numbers were announced.

JoLayne Lucks didn't faint, shriek or dance wildly around the house. She smiled, though, thinking of the six discarded men from her past life; thinking how, in spite of themselves, they'd finally amounted to something. Twenty-eight million dollars, to be precise.

One hour earlier and almost three hundred miles away, a candy-red Dodge Ram pulled into a convenience store in Florida City. Two men got out of the truck: Bodean Gazzer, known locally as Bode, and his companion Chub, who claimed to have no last name. Although they parked in a handicapped-only zone, neither man was physically disabled in any way.

Bode Gazzer was five feet six and had never forgiven his parents for it. He wore three-inch snakeskin shitkickers and walked with a swagger that suggested not brawn so much as hemorrhoidal tribulation. Chub was a beer-gutted six two, moist-eyed, ponytailed and unshaven. He carried a loaded gun at all times and was Bode Gazzer's best and only friend.

They had known each other two months. Bode Gazzer had gone to Chub to buy a counterfeit handicapped sticker that would get him the choicest parking spot at Probation & Parole, or any of the other state offices where his attendance was occasionally required.

Like its mangy tenant, Chub's house trailer emitted a damp fungal reek. Chub had just printed a new batch of the fake emblems, which he laconically fanned like a poker deck on the kitchen counter. The workmanship (in sharp contrast to the surroundings) was impeccable—the universal wheelchair symbol set crisply against a navy-blue background. No traffic cop in the world would question it.

Chub had asked Bode Gazzer what type he wanted—a bumper insignia, a tag for the rearview or a dashboard placard. Bode said a simple window tag would be fine.

"Two hunnert bucks," said Chub, scratching his scalp with a salad fork.

"I'm a little short on cash. You like lobster?"

"Who don't."

So they'd worked out a trade—the bogus disabled-parking permit in exchange for ten pounds of fresh Florida lobster, which Bode Gazzer had stolen from a trapline off Key Largo. It was inevitable that the poacher and the counterfeiter would bond, sharing as they did a blanket contempt for government, taxes, homosexuals, immigrants, minorities, gun laws, assertive women and honest work.

Chub never thought of himself as having a political agenda until he met Bode Gazzer, who helped organize Chub's multitude of hatreds into a single venomous philosophy. Chub believed Bode Gazzer was the smartest person he'd ever met, and was flattered when his new pal suggested they form a militia.

"You mean like what blowed up that courthouse in Nebraska?"

"Oklahoma," Bode Gazzer said sharply, "and that was the government did it, to frame those two white boys. No, I'm talking 'bout a militia. Armed, disciplined and well-regulated. Like it says in the Second Amendment."

Chub scratched a chigger bite on his neck. "Reg'lated by who, if I might ast?"

"By you, me, Smith and Wesson."

"And that's allowed?"

"Says right in the motherfuckin' Constitution."

"OK then," said Chub.

Bode Gazzer had gone on to explain how the United States of America was about to be taken over by a New World Tribunal, armed by foreign-speaking NATO troops who were massing across the Mexican border and also at secret locations in the Bahamas.

Chub glanced warily toward the horizon. "The Bahamas?" He and Bode were in Bode's cousin's nineteen-foot outboard, robbing traps off Rodriguez Key.

Bode Gazzer said: "There's seven hundred islands in the Bahamas, my friend, and most are uninhabited."

Chub got the message. "Jesus Willy Christ," he said, and began pulling the lobster pots with heightened urgency.

To run a proper militia would be expensive, and neither Chub nor Bode Gazzer had any money; Bode's net worth was tied up in the new Dodge truck, Chub's in his illegal printshop and arsenal. So they began playing the state lottery, which Bode asserted was the only decent generous thing the government of Florida had ever done for its people.

Every Saturday night, wherever they happened to be, the two men would pull into the nearest convenience store, park brazenly in the blue handicapped zone, march inside and purchase five Lotto tickets. They played no special numbers; often they were drinking, so it was easier to use the Quick Pick, letting the computer do the brainwork.

On the night of November 25, Bode Gazzer and Chub bought their five lottery tickets and three six-packs of beer at the Florida City 7-Eleven. They were nowhere near a television an hour later, when the winning numbers were announced.

Instead they were parked along a dirt road on a tree farm, a few miles from the Turkey Point nuclear reactor. Bode Gazzer was sitting on the hood of the Dodge pickup, aiming one of Chub's Ruger assault rifles at a U.S. government mailbox they'd stolen from a street corner in Homestead. An act of revolutionary protest, Bode had said, like the Boston Tea Party.

The mailbox was centered in the headlight beams of the truck. Bode and Chub took turns with the Ruger until they were out of ammo and Budweisers. Then they sorted through the mail, hoping for loose cash or personal checks, but all they found was junk. Afterwards they fell asleep in the flatbed. Shortly after dawn they were rousted by two large Hispanics, undoubtedly the foremen of the tree farm, who swiped the Ruger and chased them off the property.

It was some time later, after returning to Chub's trailer, that they learned of their extraordinary good fortune. Bode Gazzer was on the toilet, Chub was stretched on the convertible sofa in front of the TV. A pretty blond newscaster gave out the previous night's winning Lotto numbers, which Chub scribbled on the back of his latest eviction notice.

Moments later, when Bode heard the shouting, he came lurching from the bathroom with his jeans and boxer shorts bunched at his knees. Chub was waving the ticket, hopping and whooping like he was on fire.

Bodean Gazzer said: "You're shittin' me."

"We won it, man! We won!"

Bode lunged for the ticket, but Chub held it out of reach.

"Give it here!" Bode demanded, swiping at air, his genitals flopping ludicrously.

Chub laughed. "Pull up your pants, for Christ's sake." He handed the ticket to Bode, who recited the numbers out loud.

"You're sure?" he kept asking.

"I wrote 'em down, Bode. Yeah, I'm sure."

"My God. My God. Twenty-eight million dollars."

"But here's what else: They's two winning tickets is what the news said."

Bode Gazzer's eyes puckered into a hard squint. "The hell you say!"

"Two tickets won. Which is still, what, fourteen million 'tween us. You believe it?"

Bode's tongue, lumpy and blotched as a toad, probed at the corners of his mouth. He looked to be working up a spit. "Who's got the other one? The other goddamn ticket."

"TV didn't say."

"How can we find out?"

Chub said, "Christ, who gives a shit. Long as we get fourteen million, I don't care if Jesse Fucking Jackson's got the other ticket."

Now Bode Gazzer's stubbled cheeks began to twitch. He fingered the Lotto coupon and said: "There must be a way to find out. Don't you think? Find out who's this shitweasel with the other ticket. There's gotta be a way."

"Why?" Chub asked, but it was awhile before he got an answer.

Sunday morning, Tom Krome refused to go to church. The woman who'd slept with him the night before—Katie was her name; strawberry blond, freckles on her shoulders—said they should go and seek forgiveness for what they had done.

"Which part?" asked Tom Krome.

"You know darn well."

Krome covered his face with a pillow. Katie kept talking, putting on her panty hose.

She said, "I'm sorry, Tommy, it's the way I'm made. It's time you should know."

"You think it's wrong?"


He peeped out from beneath the pillow. "You think we did something wrong?"

"No. But God might not agree."

"So it's precautionary, this church visit."

Now Katie was at the mirror, fixing her hair in a bun. "Are you coming or not? How do I look?"

"Chaste," said Tom Krome.

The phone rang.

"Chased? No, sweetheart, that was last night. Get the telephone, please."

Katie put on her high heels, balancing storklike on elegant slender legs. "You honestly won't go? To church, Tom, I can't believe it."

"Yeah, I'm one heathen bastard." Krome picked up the phone.

She waited, arms folded, at the bedroom door.

Krome covered the receiver and said, "Sinclair."

"On a Sunday morning?"

"I'm afraid so." Krome tried to sound disappointed but he was thinking: There isa God.

From the Audio edition.

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Interviews & Essays

On Saturday, December 6th, welcomed Carl Hiaasen to discuss LUCKY YOU.

Moderator: Welcome, Mr. Hiaasen! Thanks for joining us -- how are you tonight?

Carl Hiaasen: I'm just fine, Mr. Moderator!

Robert from New Orleans, LA: Any chance of syndicating your column? I tell you, I would love to read you in the Times-Picayune.

Carl Hiaasen: Starting in January, the column will be syndicated by the Chicago Tribune Knight Ridder Services, though I'm not sure about New Orleans; with luck it will be there soon, too!

Paul from Morris Plains, NJ: Any chance of bringing LUCKY YOU to the big screen? Any Hollywood deals in motion?

Carl Hiaasen: Actually, the book was purchased on the basis of five chapters, so it's been bought, and they're working on a screenplay. This was not by choice, but the chapters leaked out to Holywood so we had to do it that way, the producer Jaffe is working with it -- so, we'll see....

Nancy Newberry from West Hartford: Mr. Hiaasen, my husband and I love your work! Did you ever take fiction-writing classes, or is this talent organic? Where do you get your sense of humor?

Carl Hiaasen: I did take fiction-writing classes in high school and college, but I was writing short stories, neighborhood journals, since I was six or so -- I took the classes out of that love. I knew from that early age that I would make my living by writing, but I never knew how successful I'd be -- though some might say I've never surpassed that six-year-old age level.

A.W from Hinsdale, IL: Of all your characters, which is your favorite?

Carl Hiaasen: Well, I guess I probably have the most affection for Skink, the semi-deranged ex-governor of Florida. I guess I like him so much because he's subversive and unpredictable -- I wish I could get away with what he does in real life. I'm sure he'll resurface in some way in future books.

Heather from Boston: Hello, Carl...I am a big fan of your books!!!! What would you consider to be your major inspirations in your writing? Do you write a lot from stuff that really happened to you?

Carl Hiaasen: A lot of the stuff in the books is inspired by real events -- often taken from the headlines in Florida; to a lesser extent some of the things have happened to me, but none of the extreme stuff. I wish I could say I've a weed-wacker attached to my arm as a prothesis, but that's not the case.

Mark from Nutley, NJ: What can we expect next from Carl Hiaasen in terms of next novels?

Carl Hiaasen: I have no earthly idea. I haven't started a new one yet, and I've another writing project to work on. I just got off a long book tour, so I haven't gotten all my energy back.

Gary from Roswell, MA: What is it about Florida that attracts such crazy people -- the likes of Bode and Chub and JoLayne?

Carl Hiaasen: I think Florida has always attracted all kind of characters; centuries ago it attracted adventurers and navigators -- it's always been one of those places. It's tropical and warm and beautiful, so people come here with dreams -- good and bad. We've had our share of hoodlums, it's just that today they wear suits and carry briefcases!

Todd K. from East Side: Does your career in journalism have an effect on your fiction writing? Do the two styles ever conflict?

Carl Hiaasen: Well, what the journalism gives you is the discipline to sit down and write when you don't really want learn how to edit, to listen to the way people speak -- which gives you a broad range of dialogue in fiction. Newspaper work clearly feeds the fiction in terms of the discipline and the work involved.

Randall from Waco, TX: Who are some of your favorite writers out there today? Just one or two would be sufficient....

Carl Hiaasen: I'm very fond of Tom Wolfe, and I'm also a fan of Martin Amis, and many others...

Francine from Ann Arbor: How carefully do you plan your novels before you write them? Are you ever surprised by the way they turn out? Thanks!

Carl Hiaasen: The answer, which will shock and appall English teachers everywhere, is that I don't plan them. I start with a cast of characters and let them do their thing -- I want to be surprised, that to me is part of the fun of it.

Neil from Studio City, CA: Mr. Hiaasen, my son and I are big fans of your writing. I was wondering if you could tell me how you got your start in writing? How old were you when you got your first book published?

Carl Hiaasen: When I was in college I worked on two novels as a ghostwriter with a friend of mine -- so that's when I was published, though my name wasn't on them. That was my first experience -- and I guess I was in my early twenties; in my late twenties I wrote a book with a reporter friend of mine, which my name did appear in. Then I did write my own books, which was exciting, but then you have no excuses when you're not collaborating -- if it goes down in flames it's your fault.

Karry Baker from San Antonio: Hey, Mr. Hiaasen, I just wanted to tell you how great I think your writing is! I just started LUCKY YOU. Tell us -- what are your plans for the holidays?

Carl Hiaasen: Thanks for the very nice words! My plans for the holidays are to get out on the water as often as I can and reinvigorate myself after the tour!

Randi from Allentown, PA: Hello, Carl, what would you say are a few of the funniest movies ever made?

Carl Hiaasen: Some of my favorites were "Animal House" and "Raising Arizona," and I was vastly entertained by "Fargo" and everything Monty Python ever did -- that's a couple off the top of my head.

Lance from Cleveland, OH: Do you prefer writing novels or writing your column?

Carl Hiaasen: I prefer doing both. What I mean is not having to make a choice -- there are some days when I don't feel like working on either; right now I could pick the novels. From a writer's point of view, it's a much greater challenge to write a novel and a good novel. Though I'd also say it'd probably be more important to do the journalism.

Sharon Lake from Larchmont, NY: If you had to categorize your writing among your contemporaries, who would you compare yourself to?

Carl Hiaasen: That's a tricky one...I'd love to be compared with Wolf, or Joseph Heller, or John Irving, at least in my dreams. This is not false modesty, but the writers I like the most I think are better than I am, and I would not compare myself to them.

Greta from Oak Park, IL: Good evening, Carl Hiaasen; do you play the lotto?

Carl Hiaasen: And what do you mean by that, Greta? The answer is no -- I wait till there's a couple million in the jackpot and then I'll spring a buck or two for tickets.

Allison from New York: Who is Laureen, and why did you dedicate LUCKY YOU to her?

Carl Hiaasen: Laureen is my girlfriend.

Maghan Grant from Amherst, MA: Of all the entertainers out there today, whom do you find really funny? I figure you're an expert opinion...any favorite TV shows?

Carl Hiaasen: I watch "Seinfeld" and "Frasier" and Letterman, but beyond that I don't watch much TV, except for the news -- because that's what I do for a living, I'm a news addict. I don't watch many dramas.

Howard from New York, NY: Mr. Hiaasen, were you happy with the screen version of STRIP TEASE?

Carl Hiaasen: I wasn't as unhappy with it as some of the critics were and as some of my readers were; I went into the thing with rather modest expectations and with the knowledge that my books are very hard to transfer to film for many reasons, so I knew the project would be different from the book. I did find much of it funny. I wasn't thrilled with the ending, but very few authors are ecstatic about what happens with their books when they're sold to Hollywood.

Buddy S. from Dade County, FL: Are you a fan of Edna Buchanan's writing?

Carl Hiaasen: Sure, I'm not only a fan, I'm a colleague -- she used to work at the Herald -- and a friend. She might have been the best police reporter we've ever had, and she'd be a colorful character in anyone's novel.

Chris from The Beach House: Do you see yourself in any of your characters? Perhaps Tom Krome, the journalist?

Carl Hiaasen: An author can't honestly divorce himself from any of his characters because they all spring from his imagination. Some are more my voice than others, and I think Tom Krome is probably that character in LUCKY YOU. He goes on a long riff about the sorry state of journalism in this country -- which I've probably said more than once myself.

Liz Smith from Los Angeles: Getting back to the earlier question about journalism and fiction... I guess I always assumed your "real" ambition was to be an investigative journalist (Bob Woodward) because what I like about your fiction is the juxtaposition of serious issues with human zaniness; I mean there is a mystery but there is also an issue...

Carl Hiaasen: I was an investigative reporter before I started writing the column -- I had a great deal of energy for it and I thought it was terribly important work. In a novel, if you are introducing opinions...a column is a better forum. Investigative reporting, while it's very exciting, should and must always be sanitized of any opinion on the part of the journalist.

Sascha from Pasadena: You've already written so many books! How long does it usually take you?

Carl Hiaasen: It takes anywhere from 14 to 18 months to do a novel from start to finish. And then, it takes another 5 to 9 months before the book is published, depending on what the publisher wants to do.

S.D. Woolever from Are you a 90-day wonder who worked ten years (or whatever) to become successful? Can you tell a lot of difference between today's publishing world and publishing when you started?

Carl Hiaasen: I think it's harder today for first-time writers because the industry is trunked, there are fewer and fewer midlist books being purchased, there are larger advances being paid to comedians and celebrities to write books, and that means less money for first-time novelists trying to catch a break. I don't think in 1980 there was a publisher foolhardy enough to pay O. J. Simpson's girlfriend $2 milion plus for a worthless book that nobody bought.

Allison from New York: What inspired you to write novels initially -- was it your way to make a point about the environment and overdevelopment of Florida? Or were these very funny stories just coming alive in your head, and you wanted to share them with the world? Or just to make a living? Etc.

Carl Hiaasen: All of the above. Ever since I was a kid, I wanted to write books. I don't think it's possible to write a good novel that doesn't include the currents and emotions that are going through the writer. I think it's natural, even though I write funny novels, to weave in the issues that are important to me and to use the humor and satire against what I consider to be sins against nature.

Moderator: Thanks, Mr. Hiaasen, goodnight and happy holidays!

Carl Hiaasen: Goodnight, and thanks to everybody for all the good questions!

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
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  • Posted August 3, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Humorous but with some underlying messages

    Carl Hiaasen writes about screwball characters and unbelievable situations. His humor makes you laugh out loud as you read. I love to read one of his books (this was the third title by him for me) when I need a break from more serious tomes. However, there certainly is an undercurrent of keen observation and commentary about human nature and morality in his stories. I do love it that the bad guys get what's coming to them and the good guys get their due.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 15, 2005


    I enjoyed the book however it had many slow sections for me. I feel it had too many other characters with information concerning them that I really didn't care about. Extra fluff that I just wanted to skip over and get back to the real plot.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 9, 2010

    The first Hiaasen novel I couldn't finish.

    Lucky You is a comic-crime story about a veterinarian assistant named JoLayne Lucks who one day stumbles upon fortune by winning the Florida state lottery, a prize of 28 million dollars. In another part of Florida, two redneck morons, Chub and Bode, stumble upon this same fortune and once they realize that the 28 million would have to be split between the two winning tickets, the rednecks steal JoLayne's ticket by force with the intention of cashing both to get the 28 million together. JoLayne enlists the help of a newspaper reporter, Tom Krome, to get hunt down the rednecks and get her ticket back.

    I am a big Carl Hiaasen fan. I have not read all of his novels, but this is the fifth one I've read, and the first one that I couldn't bring myself to finsih. Lucky You goes at a much slower pace than his other novels do, with characters that are not as well developed. Normally his bad guys, or most interesting characters, have some kind of psychological issue which makes them fiendishly lovable. In Tourist Season, the four men of the guerrilla faction were each psychotic in their own way, taking orders from a raging sociopath reporter, in Skinny Dip, Chaz descended into deeper and deeper psychosis as the story went on, in Skin Tight, Chemo and Mick Stranahan were equally psychotic, just on different realms of the good-guy/bad-guy spectrum, and the doctor was delightfully sleazy and greedy, and in Nature Girl, Honey Santana was an excitable manic-depressive who went to extreme lengths to exact revenge on those who had done her wrong. These psychologically unstable characters are enjoyable because, although they are psychotic, they are smart and clever. Chub and Bode, the bad guys of this story, are not so smart, nor are they clever. They're just a couple of desperate, racist redneck morons who stumble upon fortune. This makes the story predictable, as JoLayne and Tom are the clever team, vs. the dumb redneck team. It's cat and mouse. The segments of the story with JoLayne, Tom and the White Clarion Aryans are the most gripping segments of the story though. Much of it is filled with side stories about other characters that really don't matter much to the overall chase, and the side stories move very slowly. The quirky antics of the other characters really does not matter much in comparison to the main chase of the novel. Unfortunately, it often feels that there is too much fluff in the novel and it weighs on the pace of the novel. Overall, not worth a second read.

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 29, 2004

    Great diversion. What reading for entertainment is all about!

    Loved this book! Complete opposite of these deeply developed novels that you need to take notes to follow. Don't get me wrong, Mr. Hiasson has a great plot, albeit a little corny, but it's ENTERTAINING! If you want to escape from the seriousness of everyday life and laugh, then this book is a must read! Great characters, hysterical plot, fast, funny read.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 21, 2013

    Fun Read

    The usually fun ride from Hiaasen! Read and enjoy.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 19, 2013

    Great read!

    This was a fun book! The characters are all original and well thought out. I will definitely read more if his books!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 20, 2012

    Dissapointed haissen fan


    0 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 9, 2012

    My mother lent me this book (which led to it living on my "

    My mother lent me this book (which led to it living on my "to read" bookshelf for almost a year), but I was shocked to enjoy it! The whole book abounds with humor, humanity, and a certain amount of suspense. Worthwhile pool read.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 9, 2010

    Pretty Good Reading!

    This was my first book by this author and I will read more. This book was cute, it wasn't 'jump-up-and-down' fantastic but it was interesting. I found it easy to put down but on the other hand I couldn't wait to see what happened next. --K--

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 30, 2007


    limp-wristed prose. not funny in the least. too many characters. weak. poor. pitiful. cliche characters. and 'character' is not a wacky person. character is someone with dimension. this review covers all of his books

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 26, 2007

    I am hooked!

    I fell into Mr. Hiassen after picking up his 'Skinny Dip' prior to going on vacation I needed a light hearted story. I then read 'Nature Girl' and loved it. I just finished 'Lucky You' and couldn't put it down. I love how he intertwines the plots and develops the characters it really keeps you hooked. I laughed out loud at many spots and highly recommend this book for anyone looking for entertaining reading.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 12, 2004

    Disappointed first time Hiaasen reader

    For the longest time I've put off reading Mr. Hiaasen's novels because I didn't think I'd enjoy them. I finally gave in and realized that I'd been right all along. His writing style seems frighteningly basic and the 'laughs' weren't THAT funny. I hoped for so much more than this, but in the end I was disappointed. He must be doing something right to have such a huge fan base, however, I'm going to have to keep myself off this bandwagon.

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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