Tourist Season

( 48 )

Overview

The only trace of the first victim was his Shriner's fez washed up on the Miami Beach. The second victim, the head of the city's chamber of commerce, was found dead with a toy alligator lodged in his throat. And that was just the beginning ...

Now Brian Keyes, reporter turned private eye, must move from muckraking to rooting out murder ... in a caper that will mix football players, politicians, and police with a group of anti-development ...

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Tourist Season

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Overview

The only trace of the first victim was his Shriner's fez washed up on the Miami Beach. The second victim, the head of the city's chamber of commerce, was found dead with a toy alligator lodged in his throat. And that was just the beginning ...

Now Brian Keyes, reporter turned private eye, must move from muckraking to rooting out murder ... in a caper that will mix football players, politicians, and police with a group of anti-development fanatics and a very, hungry crocodile.

Strip Tease, Stormy Weather, and Native Tongue, by Carl Hiaasen, are also available from Random House AudioBooks. Skin Tight is available as a Random House Price-Less Audio.

Edward Asner won five Emmy Awards for his portrayal of Lou Grant — first on The Mary Tyler Moore Show and then on Lou Grant. He has garnered much acclaim for his many television, theatrical, and film performances. He has previously read Strip Tease, Stormy Weather, and Skin Tight, all by Carl Hiaasen, for Random House AudioBooks.

Tourist Season Warner is available in paperback from Warner Books.

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Editorial Reviews

Tony Hillerman
''Tourist Season'' is a lively story of a conspiracy intended to save Florida for the future by terrorizing tourists and thereby collapsing its superhyped condominium economy. . . . Mr. Hiaasen leaves you grinning a lot. . . Reading Carl Hiaasen is fun. Behind the fun is a sophisticated morality story that leaves you to decide exactly who the bad guy was.
— The New York Times
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
When the president of the Miami Chamber of Commerce is found dead inside a suitcase with his legs sawn off and a rubber alligator stuffed down his throat, news and police locals prefer to believe it's simply another typical South Florida crime. But when letters from a terrorist group, Las Noches de Diciembre, link the man's death to the disappearances of a visiting Shriner and a Canadian tourist, former newsman now private eye Brian Keyes intuits that someone is out to kill Florida's tourist trade. His investigation leads him to an old journalism crony obsessed with fury against the state's irresponsible development policies. Miami Herald columnist Hiaasen writes with a seriousness of intent and knack for characterization which, unfortunately, outstrip his comic talents. This is an auspicious solo debut for the serious Hiaasen he has written three thrillers with William Montalbano, but a lukewarm one for him as a potential comic-absurdist. March 24p
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780446343459
  • Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
  • Publication date: 2/28/1987
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Edition description: Reissue
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 384
  • Sales rank: 86,365
  • Product dimensions: 6.76 (w) x 10.92 (h) x 1.04 (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

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 48 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(23)

4 Star

(16)

3 Star

(8)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(1)

Your Rating:

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 48 Customer Reviews
  • Posted June 10, 2013

    I Also Recommend:

    shame on me, I've lived in Florida for 30 years now and this is

    shame on me, I've lived in Florida for 30 years now and this is the first Hiaasen book I have read, it will NOT be my last. super enjoyable. any time you think this is outrageous or over the top, know from someone who lives here that every character rang true. Not one false note. Lots of laughing out loud. THANK YOU 

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 4, 2011

    A Good Start as a Solo Author

    When searching for early Carl Hiaasen novels, I noticed that his earlier publications were co-authored. Tourist Season seemed to be his first solo effort. The first couple of chapters were a little disjointed, but it didn't take time for Mr. Hiaasen to find his stride. It reminded me of early Janet Evanovich. I thoroughly enjoyed the book and look forward to reading another of his early novels, until I work my way to his more current works.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 26, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Good but Not Great

    My first Hiassen novel and I will read more of his work. This one was a decent first effort, but was not as strong as the works of others. The book starts out a little jumbled and several characters seem to be introduced too quickly. For the majority of the book, the story moves quickly, has several twists and holds one's interest. By the end, however, we're back to a slower pace, bogging down in places and offering a less than satisfactory conclusion. It is a good book, but not at all great!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 15, 2010

    Not What I Expected. A disappointed Fan

    I've been a fan of Carl's for a long time and I have read most of his books. For fast easy fun reading he is, in my opinion, the best. The plots were always imaginative if not always plausible. In addition, there never was calousness or cruelty except maybe towards a really bad guy who richly deserved it. This book, which apparently was written early in his career, has a plot requiring incomphensible behavior by the characters and contains mindless cruety to innocent people and animals. I suppose every author has a bad book or two in him so let us hope this is Carl's only one.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 10, 2013

    Wild, Funny Ride!

    As per usual, Hiaasen gives a funny and enjoyable read!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 9, 2013

    Autumnclan border

    Autumnclan border

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 20, 2013

    6/20/13

    6/20/13 Was incredibly funny at times, then just downright violent at others. Towards the middle it just became repititous.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 12, 2011

    Love

    Vernon

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 30, 2011

    I Also Recommend:

    Not just for tourists

    Frankly I was bored with this novel for the first four chapters. Eventually I started to understand the story line and it became a can't put down type of novel. The main idea of the novel is that tourists and those who go from tourist to homeowners can inspire real estate people to wreck havoc on the environment as they try to make a fast buck. The villians in this novel are basically people who want to protect nature from those who want to destroy it. Their solutions, are what makes this an interesting book. Who are the real villians in this story might make you expend some extra brain power, but it is worth the effort.

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  • Posted May 23, 2010

    Good Read

    I've become a fan of Hiassen and this is the 4th book I read by him. It wasn't my favorite, but still a good read overall. If you like this, I recommend his other works.

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  • Posted May 5, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    I Really Should Read Between the Lines!!!

    When reading the other reviews the word DARK and FUNNY were used many times. That describes this book. I really do not like to read DARK Humor and so I can't recommend the book to everyone. If you do like something along those lines this book would meet your needs. Just like a previous review this would be a good book for those who want to get to know the characters. This would be the book to read first. I am a huge fan of Robert Parker's Spencer Series. This book did not thrill me as much as the Spencer Series.

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  • Posted April 10, 2010

    Hiaasen always delivers!

    You gotta wonder about a guy who makes up such wild characters, theater of the absurd plot twists, and downright laugh-out-loud dialogue. Understand that if you pick up one of his books, you will have a hard time putting it down. They are best read lolling on the beach in a warm sun, to put you in the mood of a hot and swampy Florida. Or maybe in the winter, when you think you'll never be warm again, Hiassen can make you think you need to swat the mosquitoes off your parka. You will never be disappointed with his books -- they are consistently hilarious and creative and the bad guys always lose. What more could you want in a novel?

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  • Posted October 4, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Hiasons first and one of the best

    If you've never read Hiason, this is the one to start with. Here you meet the usual suspects that appear in other books and find Hiasons style.
    The laughter is only part of the equation, the look at a native Floridians view of politics, environment and the mad mouse make these books informative and entertaining.
    Don't miss the kids books, Flush, Hoot, and Scat.
    Always a treat Hiason can't be beat.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 20, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    My husband loves these books

    My husband hasn't picked up a book in years and he bought one of Carl Hiaasen's books to read on the plane and he is now on his sixth one. If these books could get someone to read after many years, I had to find out what the attraction was. I have read three now and I find them very entertaining and a great summer read. Enjoy!

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  • Posted March 18, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    It's funny

    How best to describe it? It Fargo meets Florida. Dark, sick and funny.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 12, 2006

    Tourist this

    If you liked Jackson McCRae's 'Katzenjammer' with its wacky characters and mind-bending plot. Second only to 'Basket Case,' this quirky Hiassen novel is over the top and wild. Set in Florida, like almost all his books, he takes his usual swipe at government, corruption, and the state itself. The main event that propels this novel along is the murder of the Miami Chamber of Commerce President, who is found with his legs cut off and a rubber aligator stuffed down his throat. It just gets better from there, with a who dunnit type of scenario and live and fake reptiles used for harmful purposes. Rip-snorting laughs and a serious undertone give this five stars.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 4, 2005

    Hiaasen has a new fan

    OMG. This book was awesome. The dialogue was incredible and sooooo funny. I couldn't beleive the crazy situations that I was laughing at. Looking forward to reading the rest of Hiaasen's books.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 4, 2002

    A Masterpiece.

    A brilliant mix of Humor and violence. Using an Elmore Leonard style Carl Hiaasen has reached areas many authors have not. The conversations that take place in 'Tourist Season' are both Hillarious and deep. He described everything well without becoming Mello-dramatic (untill the end). The charecters are easy to relate to and the only thing I didn't enjoy about this book were the Shriner charecters. You couldn't relate to them nor were they interesting. But that complaint is drowned out by the wonderful writting Carl Hiaasen has done

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 17, 2002

    Laugh-out-loud funny

    I really hate to admit this, but I read my first Hiassen novel (Sick Puppy) because I liked the way the cover looked. Fortunately I discovered a great writer and plan to read all of his novels! Tourist Season has his signature humor, irony, and absurdity. Hiassen's style is fun, refreshing, and different. Anyone who hasn't tried him should wait no longer!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 28, 2002

    Very entertaining!

    A very good book. This is the second Hiaason book I've read and I've enjoyed both of them. I don't understand why more people don't know about him! Give it a try!

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