Stormy Weather

Stormy Weather

4.4 125
by Carl Hiaasen
     
 

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When a ferocious hurricane rips through southern Florida, the con artists and carpetbaggers waste no time in swarming over the disaster area.

Among the predators are Edie Marsh, an entrepreneurial young woman whose scheme to sleep with a Palm Beach Kennedy has fizzled, freezing her to concoct a colossal insurance rip-off; Lester Maddox Parsons, a murderous… See more details below

Overview

When a ferocious hurricane rips through southern Florida, the con artists and carpetbaggers waste no time in swarming over the disaster area.

Among the predators are Edie Marsh, an entrepreneurial young woman whose scheme to sleep with a Palm Beach Kennedy has fizzled, freezing her to concoct a colossal insurance rip-off; Lester Maddox Parsons, a murderous ex-con whose violent encounter with a game warden has left him with the fitting name of “Snapper”; and Avila, a crooked building inspector-turned-roofer who dabbles somewhat unsuccessfully in the occult. 

Caught in the middle are Max and Bonnie Lamb, newlyweds torn in wildly different directions by the storm. It is Max’s fateful decision to abort their Disney World honeymoon and race to Dade County to see the terrible devastation. Armed with a video camera, the ambitious young advertising executive can’t wait to show his hurricane tapes to his buddies back in New York. 

Over Bonnie’s objections, Max eagerly sets out through the rubble, debris and mayhem—and promptly vanishes. The only clue to his whereabouts: a runaway monkey. The only person who can help Bonnie’s search: a mysterious young man with a tranquilizer gun and a roomful of human skulls. 

But there’s also a man called Skink who has devoted his very strange existence to saving Florida from the kinds of people blown in by the hurricane. It is he, crazed and determined, who prowls the swath of the storm and forever changes the lives of Max, Bonnie, Edie and the others.

Their paths—tangled before they even know it—come together in a novel that continues the hilarious and scathing muckraking tradition that Carl Hiaasen has so mercilessly made his own. In Stormy Weather, there is no calm eye.

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

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Hiaasen's latest madcap romp across southern Florida presents an apocalyptic panorama of the region in the wake of a storm much like Hurricane Andrew. Transforming a suburban sprawl into a lawless frontier, the hurricane puts on a collision course a demented cast of tourists, scam artists and eccentrics: New York ad exec Max Lamb, who decides to spice up his Orlando honeymoon by taking his bride and his camcorder into the teeth of the storm; Skink, the swamp-dwelling former Florida governor (last seen in Native Tongue) who kidnaps Max in an effort to teach him to respect the land; Edie March, a seductive grifter who hatches a half-baked personal-injury scam with the help of Snapper, a sadistic ex-con; and Augustine, the altruistic son of a jailed drug smuggler, who juggles skulls to relax. Also mobilized are a mob enforcer with a penchant for crucifixions, a voodoo-practicing building inspector and a number of menacing escaped animals. In his sixth novel, less a straightforward thriller than a sprawling slice of life, Hiaasen dexterously resolves his many subplots, uniting the principals in a climactic chase across the swampland-while adding sting to his perpetual theme: the unrelenting depredation of Florida's cultural and natural heritage. 200,000 first printing. (Aug.)
Library Journal
Take one devastating Florida hurricane, a New York couple on their honeymoon, a skull-juggling but sensitive guy, one former governor turned Everglades hermit, two small-time con artists, a corrupt building inspector, two state troopers, a hapless insurance agent, and what do you have? The recipe for Hiaasen's (Native Tongue, LJ 9/1/91) sixth novel, a delightful romp that is by turns hilarious and moving. These strange characters maneuver through a broken landscape as if born to it, and the author's control of both style and narrative keeps the novel from slipping into silliness. The crimes plotted are minor aspects of a fiction that explores the intersection of the grotesque and the human. Buy wherever good fiction is read. [Previewed in Prepub Alert, LJ 4/15/95.]-A.J. Wright, Univ. of Alabama, Birmingham
Bill Ott
If you share Carl Hiaasen's view of southern Florida as a "culture in terminal moral hemorrhage," then it's hard not to see a hurricane as a form of biblical revenge--nature taking a little of its own back from the neon jungle. The problem, however, as Hiaasen shows us in his latest novel, set in the days immediately following Hurricane Andrew, is that Florida's mutant forms of human sleaze have the survival instincts of cockroaches. Like carpetbaggers descending on the postCivil War South, the con artists, looters, and thrill seekers who emerge in Andrew's aftermath bring a new and virulent form of pestilence to an already ravaged landscape. Hiaasen follows the activities of a typically bizarre group of hurricane scammers: a can-do girl who, frustrated in her attempts to sleep with a Kennedy, hopes to perpetrate an insurance scam; her deformed, ex-con partner, the archetypal loose cannon; a Madison Avenue advertising executive intent on videotaping the carnage to amuse the guys back at the office; and a crooked building examiner who approved many of the substandard houses that Andrew summarily blew away. Swirling around this dangerous though hysterically inept bunch is the enigmatic Skink, ex-governor turned hermit and avenging angel. Committed to a radical "pest control" plan, Skink, who has surfaced in previous Hiaasen adventures, drives the action with a deranged yet altruistic frenzy. Combining slapstick nightmare, black comedy, and moral outrage in just the right proportions, Hiaasen's surrealistic vision of Florida on the brink of Armageddon bears comparison to Nathanael West's Hollywood and Malcolm Lowry's Mexico.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780307767417
Publisher:
Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
Publication date:
08/11/2010
Series:
Vintage Crime/Black Lizard
Sold by:
Random House
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
335
Sales rank:
29,687
File size:
2 MB

Meet the Author

Brief Biography

Hometown:
Tavernier, Florida
Place of Birth:
South Florida
Education:
Emory University; B.A., University of Florida, 1974

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