Tag Archives: anti-hero

More Fun Than a Barrel of Bad Monkeys

jack_the_monkeyJust finished Carl Hiaasen’s “Bad Monkey” and feel as if I have just consumed a giant plate of fried conch washed down with a bottle of Barcardi Gold–great going down, but feeling a bit guilty and sick afterwards.  Hiaasen’s work is full of irredeemable characters: a sex-crazed voodoo priestess, a medical insurance scammer, a cop on the take, a cheating wife obsessed with her next plastic  surgery improvement.  Even the “good” characters are over the top–our hero, Andrew Yancy, has just been busted down to “roach patrol” for performing an unlicensed colonoscopy using a vacuum cleaner hose on a rude husband, and his new girlfriend, a Miami coroner, has a proclivity towards making love in the creepiest places.  But the reader laps this all up– Hiaasen’s keen social satire, his tongue-lashing against those who spoil the beauty of natural surroundings, his unflinching eye for human weaknesses– and is willing to swallow it down whole like a big, slurpy raw oyster.  It’s all here: a dismembered arm hooked by a poser deep-sea fisherman, a voodoo queen who terrorizes men from a motorized wheelchair, and, of course, a bad monkey who was fired from the Pirates of the Caribbean movies.  But crazy characters aside, Hiaasen is a story plotting genius.  He threads and weaves scenes, then layers seemingly unrelated stories, which eventually all interconnect, like a masterful spider web.   So, after reading the book, maybe you’ll feel a little guilty having laughed so hard at the dark humor, maybe for cheering on the anti-hero as he runs rough-shod outside the law…or, maybe not!  Enjoy.  Five star summer read.

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