Gateway Gazette

From My Bookshelf: Native Tongue

By Lynn Willoughby

Native Tongue ~ Carl Hiassen

Sometimes after reading a series of difficult, tragic, inhumane books, I need a change.  I need to read something by David Sedaris, Christopher Moore, Terry Fallis or Carl Hiassen.  This book of fiction gave me the laughter, the silliness and the satire I needed.

The Amazing Kingdom of Thrills theme park on North Key Largo has the only two living specimens of the Blue Tongued Mango Voles left in existence.  They are stolen by two petty, incompetent thieves, hired by a geriatric group of environmentalists.  A day or two later, the zoologist at the park is eaten by the Orca whale, which then also dies.  Suddenly, this park has a major PR problem, and the PR writer begins to be very suspicious of what is going on behind the scenes.

The park owner is a rude, crude, mean man, who is actually in the witness protection program.  He fires his PR writer – and Joe Winder goes on a crusade to discredit and bankrupt the corrupt park.

If you think you are having a bad week, wait until a press release says your park is infested by deadly Cotton Mouth snakes, your elves go on strike, Princess Golden Sun gets high and flings off her loincloth during the nightly parade and your head of security gets run over by a car and is so out of touch with reality, he chews off his own foot!

Add to this mayhem, an ex governor of Florida who has gone rogue and is running around the swamps wearing an electronic tracking collar from a dead panther and making the life of the Fish and Game officers a living hell when the governor (panther) starts living in the theme park.  Plus we have the incident of the aging, drunken golf pro “has been” who gets shot at the press conference gathered at the ground breaking ceremony of the expensive new golf course and condominium development slated to open right next to the theme park.  Are you keeping up?

This is Hiassen at his best – goofy, satirical and laugh out loud funny.  Just what I needed!

  • Sick Puppy
  • Skin Tight 
  • and several others

Who Knew?

A three bedroom, three bath, 1725 square foot condo on Key Largo is listed for $3,600,000!!!

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