Book Report: Nature Girl by Carl Hiaasen (2006)

Heather gave me this book for Christmas along with a number of earlier Hiaasen novels because she knew that I enjoyed (see also Strip Tease, Skinny Dip, and Basket Case).

This book, however, suffers from the same slow start that stifled Strip Tease. Unfortunately, it has a slow middle and a slow end, too. Whereas the normal whacky Hiaasen characters come out of the Florida backwoods to amuse, ultimately, interact. We have a half Seminole on the run from his own demons and the ghost of an unfortunate tourist whose body he sunk in the swamp; a philandering ne’er-do-well telemarketing salesman and the mistress who’s above him; an activist and off-kilter single mother seeking revenge against the telemarketer for interrupting her dinner; a lecherous man lusting for the single mother; the ex-husband of the single mother; a private detective trailing the telemarketer; and so on.

Unfortunately, the book doesn’t have a real central plot; instead, we’re following along a set of subplots that will intersect on a small Florida key. When we finally got the whole crew onto the key, I thought it would be a quick resolution, but I still had 100 pages left, and I was disappointed.

The book isn’t Hiaasen’s best, and it’s definitely the weakest of the four books I’ve read so far. Heather was disappointed at my disappointment, but I tried to reassure her that one book had to be the worst. I hope this one was.

Books mentioned in this review:


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