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Posted July 30, 2014
Fans of Carl Hiaasen's novels, which humorously point out some of the foibles of living in southeast Florida, may not realize that the author sharpened his wit (and various spears) by writing about the real-life escapades of Miami-Dade, Broward, and Monroe Counties (with occasional forays into Palm Beach county, Tallahassee and even Washington D.C.).
“Paradise Screwed “collects some of Hiaasen's columns from the Miami Herald during the late 1980s, the 1990s, and early 2000. Most Americans will not have heard of the politicians, public officials, developers, and other assorted, uh, let's politely say “civic leaders” rather than the “goobers” that the author would probably prefer. However, the fact is that everyone can picture a greedy developer who cares more for his bottom line than for the environment – or for the laws designed to protect the latter. Everyone has an image of a low-paid politician who has managed to stretch his income to allow for custom-made suits, luxury automobiles, and exclusive housing. And everyone in the country of a certain age remembers the fiascos of not being able to determine who won the 2000 Presidential election due to a confusing ballot – think “hanging chads” - in Palm Beach county.
Fans of Hiaasen's fiction will likely enjoy his take on the events of the day – even if “the day” occurred 20 years ago. However, I found that I needed to read this book in short doses – there's only so many short stories about corrupt politicians I could absorb without diverting my attention in another direction. At 418 pages, and columns taking about 1 1/2 pages each, it did take me quite awhile in real-time to reach the final column in the book.
RATING: 4 1/2 stars, rounded up to 5 stars (which is rare for me to give to a collection of reprinted materials).
Posted August 15, 2003
This writer either leaves you more informed and aching from honest belly laughs or shaking in your boots because you are one of his targets. Being able to shake the tree and literally reap the fruit of what tumbles down is a wonderous thing.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted May 9, 2009
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