Stormy Weather

by Carl Hiaasen

Hardcover, 1995

Call number

FIC HIA

Collection

Genres

Series

Publication

Knopf (1995), Edition: 1st, 335 pages

Description

Fiction. Literature. Thriller. Humor (Fiction.) HTML:NATIONAL BESTSELLER �?� A hilarious and scathing novel from the author of Squeeze Me about a crazed and determined man who has devoted his strange existence to saving southern Florida from con artists and carpetbaggers after a hurricane hits. "Hysterically funny�?�. Hiaasen at his satirical best." �??USA Today When a ferocious hurricane rips through southern Florida, insurance fraudsters, amateur occultists, and ex-cons waste no time in swarming over the disaster area. And caught in the middle are Max and Bonnie Lamb, honeymooners who abandon their Disney World plans to witness the terrible devastation. But when Max vanishes, Bonnie, aided by a mysterious young man with a tranquilizer gun and a roomful of human skulls, has to follow her only clue: a runawa… (more)

User reviews

LibraryThing member ecw0647
Virtually everyone and everything is corrupt, except perhaps the deranged ex-governor of the state, in Carl Hiaasen's marvelously funny Stormy Weather.

Bonnie and Max Lamb are on their honeymoon at Disney World when the one-hundred year hurricane hits. Max, being a good red-blooded American,
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immediately grabs his video camera and heads for the path of destruction to tape all the gore and devastation. Bonnie is not happy, feeling this is somehow disrespectful, but when Max is kidnapped by Skink, the ex-governor, who had tied himself to a bridge to enjoy the storm, and Max uses the phone calls allowed him by his abductor to phone his firm and check up on his advertising accounts, Bonnie begins to reexamine her new marriage. Especially, after she meets Augustine, the wealthy survivor of a plane crash, who had inherited his uncle's wild animal zoo. The wild animals, released during the fury of the storm, proceed to wreak havoc on some of the low-lives who populate the novel. And there are plenty of them, from the building inspectors who hadn't examined the buildings they had certified as windproof, to the salesman who sold the homes knowing they were unsafe, to the county prosecutor literally caught with his pants down in a compromising position.

Hiaasen makes scornful fun of Florida society. Ultimately, it's the ex-governor who may be the sanest of the bunch. Here's an example of Hiaasen's wit. He's describing seven missionaries from the Church of the High Pentecostal Rumination who immediately proceed to Miami after the hurricane as they make a practice of witnessing to all natural disasters.

"Every morning, the missionaries preached, consoled and distributed pamphlets. Then they stood in line for free army lunches at the tent city, and returned to the motel for two hours of quiet contemplation and gin rummy. The Ramada offered free cable TV, which allowed the Ruminators to view a half dozen different religious broadcasts at any time of the day. One afternoon,in the absence of a pure Pentecostal preacher, they settled on Pat Robertson and the 700 Club. The Ruminators didn't share Robertson's paranoid world view, but they admired his life-or-death style of fund-raising and hoped to pick up some pointers."

Another episode concerns a father's despair for his son, a notoriously inept hunter. The father resolves to give up trying to teach h is son the more subtle hunting techniques, particularly after th e son mistakes a bald eagle for some less illegal bird and blows his father's left ear off. The son is captivated by the hurricane, for it has turned loose hundreds of cattle and other farm animals into a land formerly devoid of animals worth hunting. Unfortunately, he mistakes a Cape Buffalo from the wild animal farm for a cow ....

A wild, hysterical romp through society's peccadilloes.
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LibraryThing member SonicQuack
When a major hurricane wrecks havoc in Florida it attracts two groups of people. The law enforcement and rescue workers, who are peripheral in this is tale, and crooks. Be they conmen roofers or insurance writers, there are a myriad of people trying to make a quick buck from the distressed people
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of Florida. Hiaasen has imagined the ideal story for his usual embellishment of crime and fraudulence. As one would expect, the cast is made up entirely of fruitcakes and criminals high on ideas and low on intellect. He is masterful in his weaving of plotlines, each carefully crafted to elicit a smirk, a chuckle or at very least a wry grin - Hiaasen is one of the masters of comedic crime fiction after all. Stormy Weather is a good solid read, a little long, however it's easy to recommend.
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LibraryThing member etxgardener
Why no one has made a movie out of any of Carl Hiaasen's hilarious novels is a mystery to me. His writing is so cinematic, that you can visualize the plot unfolding on as movie or TV screen as you turn every page. This volume centers around a Hurricane that hits south Florida and its aftermath and
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is populated by Hiaasen's usual cast of Florida misfits and oddball characters: a honeymoon couple from New York who are looking to see what a hurricane is like, a sexy con artist who gets herself involved in way more than she bargained for, a slimy trailer salesman who meets his fate at the hands of the son of a woman who was killed in one of the stats shoddy trailer courts, a law school drop-out who is tying to track down the escaped animals from his uncle's exotic wild animal park, and our favorite ex-governor who lives in the swamps only emerging to meet out justice against those who contiunally ravage Florida's fragile ecosystem.

There's no point in trying to summarize the hilariously convoluted plot. Just settle in for a ripping yarn with a lot of laughs thrown in.
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LibraryThing member miketroll
Splendid black farce. Hiasson is a huge comic talent. He has the gift of leading the reader down very plausible paths. The absurdity is apparent only when one steps back to view the broad canvas. Beneath the comedy is hard political edge. One sometimes wonders whether Hiasson’s depth of cynicism
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is too glib, but in the context of Florida it seems wholly appropriate. But along with the cynicism comes a rich measure of hope and humanity. Read it!
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LibraryThing member elliezann
Carl Hiaasen is a much better person than I am. Living in Florida, I just get mad at the rape of this beautiful land. Mr. Hiaasen has the ability to turn this anger into stories about justice and this book is one example. It is a mystery set during a hurricaine and features Skink, a crazy
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ex-governor, who saves the day.
Every once in a while, I need to get some perspective so turning to to this author is always a treat.
A wonderful mystery with quirky characters and a satisfying ending.
Keep writing,Mr. Hiassen, please!
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LibraryThing member Tasker
Once again, this is another satirical look (although dated by fifteen years) by Mr. Hiassen into the wackiness and absurdities of the culture of southern Florida. It has it all - scam artists, strong women, principled male characters, dopey criminals and dialogue that's never dull and frequently
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amusing.
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LibraryThing member NellieMc
I've only recently begun reading the Hiaasen books, and love them all. They are just kinky enough to draw you on, but some of the characters are surprisingly sympathetic so it's not just a cynical picture of Florida. This was one of the best, especially given the heroine's coming of age.
LibraryThing member marient
Wild and wooly plot of slightly crazy people.the book has con artists, scams of all sorts taking place in the Florida Keys during hurricane season.
LibraryThing member tacoperez
This was a fantastic book. It is one of his best. It was so true even though it was fiction. it was funny, but sad because some of this really happened. His writes fiction, but based on true events and even true things, makes you think about what we are doing to this state.
LibraryThing member jepeters333
Two honeymooners, a con artist, a dishonest mobile home salesman, a law school dropout chasing a troop of monkeys, a former Florida politician living off the land, and many others make up the cast of characters in this Hiaasen book. It's always interesting to see how the characters interact in
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Hiaasen's books - this one isn't my favorite but it was still pretty good.
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LibraryThing member verenka
I took the book home from the bookcrossing meetup, because I've always liked the author. It's the perfect book for when I want something quick, a bit predictable and funny. I wasn't disappointed. It was interesting to read the book while a hurricane was making its way towards the coast again.
LibraryThing member andyray
the ex-governor of florida (skink) reappears as a major charcter in this work, and helps balance out the equations, as it were. the way carl handles the governor's retribution for his friend jim is in direct contrast to tom dorsey's attempts to emulate hiaasen. i'll try dorsey again, but how one
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can identify with a hit man as protagonist is beyond me.
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LibraryThing member Berly
I love Carl Hiaasen! His books are guaranteed fun. This one involves honeymooners, insurance con artists, lost monkeys, a mobile home salesman and a law school dropout. And our favorite ex-governor madman. A thriller filled with black humor.
LibraryThing member madamejeanie
Max and Bonnie Lamb are two honeymooners from New York with a
camcorder. Edie Marsh is a nice looking con artist trying to locate and
bed a young Kennedy for fun, frolic, and future litigation. Snapper,
the man with the broken jaw that healed crooked and marked him forever,
is just out for whatever he
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can get and if someone gets hurt in the
process, oh well. Tony Torres is the salesman of the year at the
trailer sales, telling everyone who buys from him that these trailers
will stand up to a storm. Augustine is a millionaire law school dropout
chasing after his uncle's exotic pets. Skink is the one-eyed, feral
former governor with the wild hair and the flak jacket who lives by his
wits in the woods, eating road kill and smoking venomous toad sweat.
People with not much in common, except for one thing. A south Florida
hurricane throws them all together and paths collide.

Hiaasen is one of the funniest, wittiest, most satiric authors I've come
across in a long time. His characters are unique and multi-faceted and
he writes dialogue better than just about any contemporary author. You
never know what is going to happen in a Hiaasen novel, but I've not read
one that disappointed me yet. Watching the bad guys get theirs in the
end is a true delight. This one gets a 5
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LibraryThing member fingerpost
A hurricane destroys Miami and a wide array of scum tries to profit from the loss of the residents. I always feel a little guilty when I read a Hiaasen book, because I end up laughin at things that are really too horrible to be funny.
LibraryThing member paradiso
Very funny, typical Carl Hiaasen. Not as good as Skinny Dip
LibraryThing member KimSmyth
I laughed out loud at this book. Having worked on the insurance side during the aftermath of Hurricane Andrew, I found the descriptions in this book of the almost post-apocolyptic Miami and Homestead bring back some memories.
LibraryThing member bicyclewriter
My first Carl Hiaasen book. My son's been telling me for a long time to read them, and I have to say he was exactly right. I guess this is a typical Hiaasen book, in that it has good guys and bad guys, and the good guys are underdogs in one way or another. Yet, in the end, good triumphs. All the
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elements that make a great story for me, and very well-written. I'll be reading more soon.
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LibraryThing member AliceAnna
The best yet! This author paints such a vivid picture of the most amazingly far-fetched characters that you can't help but believe in them. This is his most intricate plot of the books I've read thus far, but he juggles it all magnificently. There is never a moment when I lost track of his
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characters, situations, etc. Skink becomes more and more outrageous. That his other characters take it in stride doesn't surprise me or confound me -- it just seems right and natural with Hiaasen's humor, rhythms and wacky pathos.
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LibraryThing member wyvernfriend
Max Lamb's honeymoon was going well until the hurricane interrupted things and he decided to start filming. Skink takes offence at this and kidnaps him. His wife, Bonnie goes looking for him but finds that searching for just one person in a crowd of hundreds of lost people is not easy. Augustine
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helps.
A riot of characters, a lot of guns and pain and charcters at the ends of their tethers typifies this book, all of the characters learn from their experiences and come out of the book knowing more about themselves or being dead.
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LibraryThing member punxsygal
Typical Hiaasen, a mixed bag of crazy characters come together with their schemes in the aftermath of Hurricane Andrew.
LibraryThing member MaureenCean
Another outrageous tale with over the top characters.
LibraryThing member BookConcierge
Audio book performed by George Wilson

After a massive hurricane flattens Southern Dade County Florida, the place is overrun with various chiselers, scam artists, would-be contractors, insurance adjusters, and even honeymooning tourists. Hiaasen peoples this romp with the usual mix of characters –
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Bonnie and Max are on their honeymoon at Disney World when the hurricane hits, and Max just [u]has[/u] to head south to get home videos of the aftermath. Augustine Herrera has recently inherited his uncles wildlife “park” … and needs to find the various wildlife (including a male African lion, a cape buffalo, dozens of reptiles, and several mangy monkeys) who have been set free by the storm’s destruction. Edie and Snapper (Lester Maddox Preston) figure they can score a quick insurance scam, but just cannot catch a break. Antonio Torres is the subject of wrath when the entire trailer park – where he sold “federally guaranteed” mobile homes – is flattened, killing one resident and leaving the others with nothing but their memories. All of them are interconnected by the former governor of Florida – Skink – a one-eyed certifiably crazy mad man who has been waiting for “the big one” and experiences the storm lashed to a high-rise bridge.

The plot is riddled with ridiculously convenient coincidences and interconnections. But who cares?! Hiaasen is a master of this unique genre … a sort of improbable romp wherein everything turns out for the best and the bad guys always get what’s coming to them.

Wilson does a reasonable job of performing the book, though he is not very good at the female voices. I particularly like the way he breathes life into Skink, however. My particular copy of the work was unfortunately marred on the last disc, so I couldn’t listen to the ending … the last track was mostly pops and whistles, with the occasional word fragment. Drats … Well, fortunately for me I also had a copy of the text so I could finish the book.

All in all it’s an enjoyable diversion.
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LibraryThing member weird_O
[Stormy Weather] by Carl Hiaasen

With Hurricane Hermine just now blowing Florida away somewhere, it seems appropriate to read what novelist Carl Hiaasen has to say about such weather in his home state. South Florida in the immediate aftermath of a hurricane is the setting for [Stormy Weather]. As
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usual, Hiaasen populates the story with a spectacular cast of grifters, psychopaths, loonies, innocents, tourists (a given in Florida), politicians, law enforcement men and women, laborers, bosses, clerks, and hustlers.
In a Hiaasen story, such characters generally race from city to swamp and back again, criss-crossing one another's paths, seldom mindful of what anyone else is doing (or trying to do).

In [Stormy Weather], most everyone is trying to capitalize on disaster, typically but not exclusively someone else's disaster.

• Max Lamb interrupts his honeymoon, begun in an Orlando motel, to race to Miami to videotape the storm damage and the newly homeless, treating the devastation as a tourist attraction. Offended by Max's antics, his wife turns away. In a flash, Max vanishes, abducted by a large man in military trousers, no shirt, and a flowered shower cap.

• Bonnie Lamb, Max's wife, finds herself stranded in a dystopian environment without money, without knowing a soul. When it starts raining, she's invited to shelter under a scrap of plywood by a young guy with a small rifle on his shoulder. What she really wants is to go home.

• Augustine Herrera is a young man of independent means, wandering the streets in search of exotic animals--many of them dangerous--that the hurricane liberated from a ramshackle wildlife farm, a failing operation bequeathed to Augustine after the recent death of his uncle. The exotics include several big cats, a huge Cape Buffalo, and a variety of monkeys. His armament shoots tranquilizer darts.

• Skink is an unpredictable wild man, a denizen of south Florida's swampy wilderness. He's intent on teaching Max some manners and a respect for nature, and a shock collar is a primary tool in this endeavor.

• Edie Marsh, an attractive grifter, abandons Palm Beach when the hurricane threatens Dade County. She had schemed to bed a Kennedy, then cry rape, and finally settle out of court for a suitable payment. That hadn't worked, so now she was going to visit hurricane-flattened housing and have a roof or wall collapse conveniently and injure her.

• Lester Maddox Parsons, better known as Snapper, is a low-life thug, recently out of prison, having served time for manslaughter. An occasional "business associate" of Edie (she shoplifts women's underwear that he fences), he's once again her associate in her personal injury scam. He knows a Cuban-American called Avila who can help them locate a suitable house.

• Avila is highly qualified for Edie's and Snapper's scam because he formerly was a building inspector for the county. He would inspect and approve as many as 80 houses a day without exiting his pickup. Taking them to a high-density development, he tells them to pick a house, because when the hurricane hits, all the houses will be coming down.

• Tony Torres is the owner of the house the scammers select, and he is camping in the rubble, armed with a shotgun. Not surprisingly, he's able to dissuade them from their scam. He has the shotgun because he knows he'll be visited by enraged owners of now-demolished double-wides he sold them with a bogus sales pitch stressing that U. S. government regulations were met. He's staying put because he intends to pocket the entire insurance settlement on his own house, not splitting it with his estranged wife, who is living in Oregon. He offers to give Edie a cut if she'll pose as Mrs. Torres when the adjuster appears.

• Jim Tile, a state highway patrol officer, and his girlfriend, Trooper Brenda Rourke, represent the side of law-and-order. As it works out, Tile is Skink's oldest, closest friend in the world. (Both Skink and Jim Tile have appeared in other Hiaasen novels.)

It's a twisty, turny road to the conclusion. Will Max and Bonnie ever find each other? Who the hell is this Skink guy? Who, if anyone, is Edie going to bonk? Yes, those wandering exotic animals cross the set from time to time. Yes, it is hoot the entire journey, even when guns are drawn and fired.

Two thumbs up for this entertaining novel.
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LibraryThing member stpnwlf
Hiaasen novel set in the aftermath of a hurricane.

Awards

Pages

335

ISBN

0679419829 / 9780679419822
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