Naked Came the Manatee

Naked Came the Manatee

3.6 8
by Carl Hiaasen, James W. Hall, Elmore Leonard, Edna Buchanan
     
 

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In South Florida, everyone wants to get a head. But not just any head. A very famous human head—severed and snugged away in a cryonic container. A head that could spark a revolution and change the course of history.

Everybody wants a piece of the noggin: rotund gangster Big Joey G., a 102-year-old environmentalist, hard-boiled Miami reporter Britt…  See more details below

Overview

In South Florida, everyone wants to get a head. But not just any head. A very famous human head—severed and snugged away in a cryonic container. A head that could spark a revolution and change the course of history.

Everybody wants a piece of the noggin: rotund gangster Big Joey G., a 102-year-old environmentalist, hard-boiled Miami reporter Britt Montero, lawyer Jake Lassiter, and a would-be dictator in exile—with ex-president Jimmy Carter and a lovable manatee named Booger thrown in for good measure.

With bodies piling up it's anybody's guess what will happen from one chapter to the next, as an all-star line-up of Florida's finest writers take turns at taking this outrageously original novel to the limit—and beyond.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
In late 1995, this highly entertaining mystery novel was serialized for 13 weeks in the Miami Herald's Tropic magazine. Each chapter is written by an author with South Florida connectionsDin order, Dave Barry, Les Standiford, Paul Levine, Edna Buchanan, James W. Hall, Carolina Hospital, Evelyn Mayerson, Tananarive Due, Brian Antoni, Vicki Hendricks, John Dufresne, Elmore Leonard and Carl Hiaasen. The convoluted plot involves an astonishing number of characters, coincidences, murders and Fidel Castro headsDwith and without bodies attached. Also featured is a 102-year-old woman who swims naked in Biscayne Bay with Booger, a manatee who may be the most sensitive and intelligent character here. In the chapter written by Dufresne, Booger gloomily considers the "November in my soul" during a marvelously introspective manatee soliloquy. Mystery fans will enjoy the interplay between familiar characters like Buchanan's Miami News crime reporter Britt Montero, Levine's brawny lawyer Jake Lassiter and Standiford's building contractor-turned-sleuth John Deal. The story is less important than the pleasures to be gleaned from observing very good writers at play, penning their sardonic love letter to Miami and its environs. The writers maintain a comic, whimsical pace throughout, and Hiaasen feverishly ties up loose ends in a final chapter like a department-store gift wrapper during Christmas rush. A successful experiment in the art of absurdity, this bookDinspired in concept and title by the round-robin novel Naked Came the Stranger (1969), allegedly by "Penelope Ashe" but revealed as the handiwork of 25 Newsday editors and reportersDshould be read for the pure fun of it. 100,000 first printing; major ad/ promo; author tours. (Feb.) FYI: The authors' profits will be donated to charity.
Publishers Weekly - Cahners\\Publishers_Weekly
In late 1995, this highly entertaining mystery novel was serialized for 13 weeks in the Miami Herald's Tropic magazine. Each chapter is written by an author with South Florida connections-in order, Dave Barry, Les Standiford, Paul Levine, Edna Buchanan, James W. Hall, Carolina Hospital, Evelyn Mayerson, Tananarive Due, Brian Antoni, Vicki Hendricks, John Dufresne, Elmore Leonard and Carl Hiaasen. The convoluted plot involves an astonishing number of characters, coincidences, murders and Fidel Castro heads-with and without bodies attached. Also featured is a 102-year-old woman who swims naked in Biscayne Bay with Booger, a manatee who may be the most sensitive and intelligent character here. In the chapter written by Dufresne, Booger gloomily considers the "November in my soul" during a marvelously introspective manatee soliloquy. Mystery fans will enjoy the interplay between familiar characters like Buchanan's Miami News crime reporter Britt Montero, Levine's brawny lawyer Jake Lassiter and Standiford's building contractor-turned-sleuth John Deal. The story is less important than the pleasures to be gleaned from observing very good writers at play, penning their sardonic love letter to Miami and its environs. The writers maintain a comic, whimsical pace throughout, and Hiaasen feverishly ties up loose ends in a final chapter like a department-store gift wrapper during Christmas rush. A successful experiment in the art of absurdity, this book-inspired in concept and title by the round-robin novel Naked Came the Stranger (1969), allegedly by "Penelope Ashe" but revealed as the handiwork of 25 Newsday editors and reporters-should be read for the pure fun of it.
Library Journal
Aside from Hiaasen, this collective effort is authored by a host of South Florida writers-Dave Barry, Les Standiford, Paul Levine, Edna Buchanan, James W. Hall, Carolina Hospital, Evelyn Mayerson, Tananarive Due, Brian Antoni, Vicki Hendricks, John Dufresne, and Elmore Leonard-who joined forces a year ago to write a 13-week serial in the "Tropic" section of the Miami Herald. In Miami, John Deal, Britt Montero, and Jake Lassitor (stock characters of Standiford, Buchanan, and Levine, respectively) join forces to help a 102-year-old environmentalist and her granddaughter investigate a mysterious, hermetically sealed head-sized canister brought up from the depths by Booger, a saintly manatee who roams the coves off Coconut Grove and seems to have a calling to save imperiled creatures. Each chapter of this comic thriller is a gem that builds on the preceding one. Highlights include a parody of Moby Dick ("Call Me Booger...") and a guest appearance by Jimmy Carter in Dufresne's chapter. Many of these writers have a built-in readership, and all proceeds go to charity. Highly recommended. [Previewed in Prepub Alert, LJ 9/1/96.]-Laurel Wilson, Alexandrian P.L., Mount Vernon, Ind.
Kirkus Reviews
Thirteen top Florida writers team up, one chapter each, for this formula crime farce.

Booger, a manatee "whose brain was approximately the size and complexity of a bocce ball," sets the Rube Goldberg plot in motion when, at the behest of Dave Barry, he collides with a boat commandeered by a pair of equally witless thieves, sending them into the drink and their mysterious cargo—which looks an awful lot like Fidel Castro's head—into the lap of Les Standiford's contractor John Deal and his lawyer, Paul Levine's Jake Lassiter, who'll phone Edna Buchanan's peerless crime reporter Britt Montero and—well, you get the idea. Can a baker's dozen of different cooks (including James W. Hall, Carolina Hospital, Evelyn Mayerson, Tananrive Due, Brian Antoni, Vicki Hendricks, John Dufresne, and Elmore Leonard) keep this soufflé aloft? Absolutely, since the collective mythology of greater Miami—which stipulates battling environmentalists, rabid right-wing Cuba libres, vacant-eyed movie stars, TV news anchors, and visiting politicos—has become so deeply ingrained that it makes for a virtually seamless, albeit knockabout, plot. But if they can do it, can they do it well? Amazingly, the writing is mostly as neutral in tone as it is seamless; except for Dufresne's waggish parodies (his Jimmy Carter dreams of a Sonnet Sequence for Democracy that will be lapped up by "schoolchildren, illiterates, babies, cats"), there's little sense of any individual style until the final mop-up chapters by Leonard and Hiaasen, which make you realize that the whole yarn smacks of a typically outlandish Hiaasen outline fleshed out by a dozen drinking buddies—and make you wish Hiaasen had taken on the job himself.

Despite the steamy title, with its promise of sea-cow sex, the whole good-natured outing is less reminiscent of Naked Came the Stranger than of those Detection Club productions from the 1930s—The Floating Admiral, Ask a Policeman, and so on. So much for life, and art, on the cutting edge.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780399141928
Publisher:
Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
Publication date:
01/27/1997
Pages:
1
Product dimensions:
8.26(w) x 5.78(h) x 0.89(d)

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