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Summary and book reviews of Sick Puppy by Carl Hiaasen

Sick Puppy

by Carl Hiaasen

Sick Puppy
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  • First Published:
    Jan 2000, 341 pages
    Paperback:
    Mar 2001, 528 pages

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Book Summary

Brilliantly twisted entertainment wrapped around a powerful ecological plea, Sick Puppy gleefully lives up to its title and gives us Hiaasen at his riotous and muckraking best.

When Palmer Stoat notices the black pickup truck following him on the highway, he fears his precious Range Rover is about to be carjacked. But Twilly Spree, the man tailing Stoat, has vengeance, not sport-utility vehicles, on his mind. Idealistic, independently wealthy and pathologically short-tempered, Twilly has dedicated himself to saving Florida's wilderness from runaway destruction. He favors unambiguous political statements -- such as torching Jet-Skis or blowing up banks -- that leave his human targets shaken but re-educated.

After watching Stoat blithely dump a trail of fast-food litter out the window, Twilly decides to teach him a lesson. Thus, Stoat's prized Range Rover becomes home to a horde of hungry dung beetles. Which could have been the end to it had Twilly not discovered that Stoat is one of Florida's cockiest and most powerful political fixers, whose latest project is the "malling" of a pristine Gulf Coast island. Now the real Hiaasen-variety fun begins . . .

Dognapping eco-terrorists, bogus big-time hunters, a Republicans-only hooker, an infamous ex-governor who's gone back to nature, thousands of singing toads and a Labrador retriever greater than the sum of his Labrador parts -- these are only some of the denizens of Carl Hiaasen's outrageously funny new novel.

Brilliantly twisted entertainment wrapped around a powerful ecological plea, Sick Puppy gleefully lives up to its title and gives us Hiaasen at his riotous and muckraking best.

Excerpt
Sick Puppy

After three glasses of wine, Desie could no longer pretend to be following her husband's account of the canned rhinoceros hunt. Across the table she appraised Palmer Stoat as if he were a mime. His fingers danced and his mouth moved, but nothing he said reached her ears. She observed him in two dimensions, as if he were an image on a television screen: an animated middle-aged man with a slight paunch, thin blond hair, reddish eyebrows, pale skin, upcurled lips and vermilion-splotched cheeks (from too much sun or too much alcohol). Palmer had a soft neck but a strong chiseled chin, the surgical scars invisible in the low light. His teeth were straight and polished, but his smile had a twist of permanent skepticism. To Desie, her husband's nose had always appeared too small for his face; a little girl's nose, really, although he insisted it was the one he'd been born with. His blue eyes also seemed tiny, though quick and bright with self-confidence. His face was, in ...

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Reviews

Media Reviews
Booklist - Bill Ott

There is plenty to enjoy here, but Hiaasen clearly faces a decision: keep going down the same path, and risk becoming the Rodney Dangerfield of ecoterrorist crime fiction, or use his remarkable inventiveness to strike out in some new direction.

Kirkus Reviews

Will another unspoiled Florida island be turned into a paradise for golfers and crooked developers and politicians? Hiassen tells all in this hilariously barbed but rambling expos. The richness of the satire is indicated by the fetishes given nearly every participant to the controversy.

Library Journal

Hiaasen's hijinks are outrageous, unbelievable, and thought-provoking. The worrysome grains of truth and reality in the story give pause.

Publishers Weekly

Carl Hiaasen once again produces a devilishly funny caper. In Sick Puppy he shows himself to be a comic writer at the peak of his powers.

Reader Reviews
Mark

I recently devoured this book while flying from Chicago to Seattle. I trust my hearty guffaws and chortles did not seriously disturb the intent student seated next to me.

Hiaasen captures the ongoing demise of Florida in all its fetid, corrupt detail,...   Read More

Anonymous

A good read, as are all of Carl's books. I enjoyed Tourist Season the most but have read all of his novels. He has a knack for capturing the humorous side of South Florida.

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