Razor Girl by Carl Hiaasen
Another great novel set in South Florida by perennial favorite Carl Hiaasen. Described by Dave Barry as the “doyen of the ‘bunch of South Florida whackos’ genre”, Hiaasen’s stories are effective propaganda aimed to keeping any more of us from moving to his beloved Florida.
Razor Girl takes up the life of Andrew Yancy (see Bad Monkey), living in the Florida Keys, demoted from police detective to a life as a health inspector. (His job offers endless opportunities for gross out humor.) Still trying to get back onto the police force, and still fending off invading neighbors, he is involved in a complex web of slap stick misadventures (with a bunch of South Florida whackos, obviously).
The story includes incredible criminals and con men, and appalling rip offs that, I’m pretty sure, come from real events in Florida. These characters are so greedy and dishonest that New York gangsters are repelled by these “scum of the scum”.
I will observe that it seems to me that there is quite a bit of wish fulfillment by the author.
The protagonist is an older guy, trying to live a peaceful, not very strenuous life hanging out in the Florida keys, and defending nature from the ravages of development. He is brave and lucky, has lots of friends, and has interesting adventures. Naturally, interesting and beautiful women keep appearing in his life, inexplicably and improbably attracted to him.
I’m pretty sure this is what the author wishes were his own life!
- Carl Hiaasen, Razor Girl, New York, Alfred A. Knopf, 2016.
Sunday Book Reviews