Native Tongue

Native Tongue

4.2 35
by Carl Hiaasen
     
 

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"Ruthlessly wicked...Wonderful...His best book yet."
ATLANTA JOURNAL & CONSTITUTION
When the precious clue-tongued mango voles at the Amazing Kingdom of Thrills on North Key Largo are stolen by heartless, ruthless thugs, Joe Winder wants to uncover why, and find the voles. Joe is lately a PR man for the Amazing Kingdom theme park, but now that the voles are gone

Overview

"Ruthlessly wicked...Wonderful...His best book yet."
ATLANTA JOURNAL & CONSTITUTION
When the precious clue-tongued mango voles at the Amazing Kingdom of Thrills on North Key Largo are stolen by heartless, ruthless thugs, Joe Winder wants to uncover why, and find the voles. Joe is lately a PR man for the Amazing Kingdom theme park, but now that the voles are gone, Winder is dragged along in their wake through a series of weird and lethal events that begin with the sleazy real-estate agent/villain Francis X. Kingsbury and can end only one way....


BONUS: This edition includes an excerpt from Carl Hiaasen's Bad Monkey.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Hiassen sends his reluctant journalist hero after a morally corrupt real estate developer in this scattershot but inventive entertainment. ( Nov. )
Library Journal
Imagine you're driving a rented Chrysler LeBaron convertible to the perfect family vacation at the Amazing Kingdom of Thrills when a rat is tossed into your car by a passing pickup. The rodent in question is not a rat, but a rare blue-tongued mango vole just liberated from the Kingdom by the militant Wildlife Rescue Corps. Welcome to the world of Native Tongue , where dedicated (if somewhat demented) environmentalists battle sleazy real estate developers in the Florida Keys. Hiaasen reminds one of Harry Crews in his depiction of a South full of eccentric people involved in crazy schemes. It is a measure of the writer's talent that no matter how bizarre the situation, it is believable. Late in the book a character laments his predicament as ``an irresistible convergence of violence, mayhem and mortality!'' If he had added nonstop hilarity, he would have had a perfect description of this book. Highly recommended. Previewed in Prepub Alert, LJ 5/15/91.-- Dan Bogey, Clearfield Cty. P.L. Federation, Curwensville, Pa.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780307767424
Publisher:
Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
Publication date:
08/18/2010
Sold by:
Random House
Format:
NOOK Book
Sales rank:
28,527
File size:
2 MB

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Native Tongue 4.2 out of 5 based on 1 ratings. 35 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Almost all Hiassen's books are set in Florida, complete with those who want to destroy that environment, from the coast to the everglades, and also come complete with some of the oddest characters you'll ever find in fiction. Yet all his books are different and new. How does he do it? A remarkable imagination and writing from the heart about a place he knows and loves.
Guest More than 1 year ago
A typical family is on their way to the Amazing Kingdom in Florida when suddenly, someone in a blue pickup truck flings something out of the truck and onto the back seat of their rented Chrysler LeBaron. Thus begins the wild and crazy convergence of blue- tongued mango voles, senior citizen eco-guerillas, a burnt-out ex-reporter, two inept thieves, an ex- governor turned ecological avenger, and a former mob informant who is now one of the sleaziest and richest land developers in all of Florida. When the last two blue-tongued voles in existence are stolen from the Amazing Kingdom, Joe Winder is assigned the task of spinning the story into the standard drivel consistently served up to the media by his bosses. Joe was once an investigative reporter, and he now feels as if he has sold his soul as he fabricates the lies promulgated by the PR machine at his new job. Bud and Danny are the two thieves who stole the voles at the behest of Molly McNamara. Molly is a deceptively innocent-looking senior citizen who hired Bud and Danny to kidnap the voles. She is extremely upset when she discovers that both voles have met untimely ends before reaching her. Molly is the head of Mothers of Wilderness, a group bent on stopping the desecration of Florida's land and animal population by any means available. Francis X. Kingsbury, who owns the Amazing Kingdom, once ratted on the mob and is now living under an assumed name and identity. Francis X struck it rich by developing land in Florida in questionable deals. He then built the Amazing Kingdom - glossy and insipidly cheery on the outside, stinking like a sewer just beneath the surface. And then there is Skink, ex-governor of Florida who now lives a solitary existence in the swamplands, trying to save what little is left of Florida's undeveloped land. He saves Joe's life early on, then wreaks spectacular revenge upon Francis X and his desecration of the land in the climactic ending of the book. We also meet many minor oddball characters along the way, all pursuing their own interests. While this is a lengthy book, it was easy to read and I often found myself laughing out loud. Carl Hiaasen has a passionate devotion to his beloved Florida and a righteous anger towards those who refuse to acknowledge the value and importance of the fragile ecosystem that sustains it. Joe Winder is the alter ego through whom Mr. Hiaasen can play out his quest for justice and retribution against those who continue to destroy the beauty of the land. I must admit, there are a few scenes that are not for the weak of heart or stomach, and I found myself quickly skimming over them. But I appreciate the author's ability not only to make us laugh, but also to make us think and appeal to our collective conscience about what is happening to our planet and to us as a people. When Bud, one of the thieves, accidentally ends up walking through the nursery of a hospital, he looks at the cooing parents and wonders why people are still having children when the world is in such a mess: More victims, thought Bud Schwartz. Bud then imagines the babies' futures: They would grow up to have automobiles and houses and apartments that would all, eventually, be burglarized by lowlifes such as himself. It is apparent that the author is wearing his heart on his sleeve in this passage as both optimist and cynic. As hope springs forth by the dawning of new life, it bumps up against the reality of our damaged and fractured world. But with Hiaasen leading the charge, there will always be a few laughs to help us along the way. This is a new paperback edition of Native Tongue, which was originally published in 1991. It is a fun and enjoyable read. And, alas, the theme of environmental devastation is as timely today as it was when it was first written.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is the 10th copy of this book I have bought to give as a gift. It is Hiaasen at his best. Great humor! It is for anyone who values America's greatest resource -- the wild open spaces.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Having lived in Florida for the longest 7 months of my life (learning to love housekeeper spiders and avoid any non natives like they were aliens from a golf planets bent on driving on beaches until they were bare) I adore Hiaasen. I only wish his characters were real and ready to save the state!
Drewano More than 1 year ago
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Amazing books, carl!
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SusyBeast More than 1 year ago
A fun adventure with a crazy cast of characters. Hiaasen is a hoot as always!
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