Naked Came the Manatee

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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 ...

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1998 Soft cover New Book. 5 1/4 By 8" Each chapter written by a different Florida author makes a wacky twisted novel, Elmore Leonard, James W. Hall, Edna Buchanan, etc.

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This is the OVERSIZED softcover stated Fawcett Edition from 1998. Both the cover and the book are in excellent condition. There are no rips, tears, markings, etc.---and the pages ... and binding are tight (see photo). **Note: All books listed as FIRST EDITIONS are stated by the publisher in words or number lines--or--only stated editions that include only the publisher and publication date. Check my feedback to see that I sell exactly as I describe. Read more Show Less

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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.

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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.
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: 9780449001240
  • Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 1/28/1998
  • Pages: 208
  • Product dimensions: 5.15 (w) x 8.00 (h) x 0.45 (d)

Meet the Author

Carl Hiaasen
In his thrilling and hilarious mysteries, Carl Hiaasen does for the Florida Coast what Raymond Chandler did for L.A., embracing it in all its steamy surrealness, and elevating it to a kind of iconographic literary landscape.

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

Table of Contents

1 Booger 1
2 The Big Wet Sleep 13
3 Biscayne Blues 27
4 The L.A. Connection 41
5 The Old Woman and the Sea 57
6 Heading: To Havana 67
7 The Lock & Key 79
8 Strange Fish 95
9 South Beach Serenade 111
10 Dance of the Manatee 131
11 Where Are You Dying Tonight? 145
12 The Odyssey 163
13 The Law of the Jungle 177
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
( 7 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 7 Customer Reviews
  • Posted October 18, 2013

    Mr Hiaasen Is a man after my on heart....was raised in Florida


    Mr Hiaasen Is a man after my on heart....was raised in Florida ...now am 81 years old...Not young.....once ypu could walk across the Mullett in Tampa Bay.....and scallops were plentiful in the eel grass.those days are long gone...Got sick at my stomach when I saw a High rise built on my Favorite fishing Place....does no good to moan about the crooked politicians and developers do not care one way or the other....money is their god.....what are they gonna do when water and land run out...good luck on that...

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  • Posted December 30, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    Attracked by Hiaasen

    I found this book with others by Karl Hiaasen. I enjoy his style, humor, and ties to the environment. I was intrigues that he participated in this book with other Florida authors, howver it did seem choppy in parts. Most of the authors have a very similar style to Hiaasen and they often pulled in their own characters. A fun and light read that could be good for a bookclub discussion.

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  • Posted March 9, 2009

    Mystery with Old Florida Style

    I was interested in reading more stories from Florida by local Florida writers. This is one story (action/mystery) written by several different writers. The story line is good, but gets chopped up by having so many writers. The book does give a good flavor of Florida coastal living or old style Florida. The Manatee does seem to come alive in the book. Enjoyable reading.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 7, 2004

    Entertaining

    This was an entertaining read but I don't think it was worth it's hefty price tag. I recommend looking for it at your local used book store. Hiaasen's contribution was the best, by far, of all the writers.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 25, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted February 1, 2013

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 4, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

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