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Bad Monkey by Carl Hiaasen

 
Bad Monkey Carl Hiaasen
Bad Monkey Carl Hiaasen
Bad Monkey Carl Hiaasen

 
Overview
 

Highlights: the monkey from those Johnny Depp pirate movies that is nearly bald from his bad diet of fried food and the ongoing feud with an unscrupulous real estate developer that has blocked Yancey's view of the Key West sunsets with his vacation home monstrosity.
 
Synopsis: Bad Monkey by Carl Hiaasen is a wacky comedy that involves the same detective from Hiaasen's other books, Yancey, but this time he's been demoted to food inspector on the island. Things go from suspicious to weird when Yancey tries to track down the origins of an arm that ended up on the end of a tourist's fishing line complete with extravagant wedding band, a missing watch worth over 200,000 dollars, and the middle finger pointing up.
 
Rating:
 
Plot
B+


 
Writing
A


 
Characters
A+


 
Fun Factor
A


 
Reading Recommendation
A


 
Total Score
A
13/ 14


User Rating
no ratings yet

 

Positives


Over-the-top characters that have endearing flaws, the tropical setting of Key West that adds fun details, humor that keeps you giggling

Negatives


Some irreverent humor that may offend those delicate sensibilities,


Bottom Line

Bad Monkey by Carl Hiaasen is a wacky comedy that involves the same detective from Hiaasen’s other books, Yancey, but this time he’s been demoted to food inspector on the island. Things go from suspicious to weird when Yancey tries to track down the origins of an arm that ended up on the end of a tourist’s fishing line complete with extravagant wedding band, a missing watch worth over 200,000 dollars, and the middle finger pointing up.

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Posted July 8, 2013 by

 
Full Article
 
 

BAD-MONKEYBad Monkey by Carl Hiaasen is a wacky comedy that involves the same detective from Hiaasen’s other books, Yancey, but this time he’s been demoted to food inspector on the island. Things go from suspicious to weird when Yancey tries to track down the origins of an arm that ended up on the end of a tourist’s fishing line complete with extravagant wedding band, a missing watch worth over 200,000 dollars, and the middle finger pointing up.

Plot

Detective Yancey is a character that shows up in more than a few of Carl Hiaasen’s books. In this story Yancey gets himself in a variety of hilarious situations where he uses his dry, sarcastic wit to eventually sort out the whodunnit mystery. The detective gets his badge and gun taken away when he publicly assaults his girlfriend’s husband with a vacuum attachment. The situation goes from bad to worse when he is assigned the role of restaurant inspector, counting the roaches (alive and dead) in the kitchen and finding more than he wanted to know about all his favorite eateries. He promptly loses 20 pounds since almost every restaurant on the island makes him nauseous.

The murder mystery starts with a dose of weird and a whole lot of morbid when a tourists fishing boat ends up with a human arm at the end of their fishing line, with the middle finger pointing up. In order to keep the city’s image clean, Yancey’s boss asks for a personal favor: transport the human arm down to the Miami-Dade Police since they’re bound to have a body that matches the arm. Yancey smells something fishy about the arm that’s a lot more suspicious than fish when he notices an expensive wedding band on the finger, but the $200,000 watch conspicuously missing. The shark tooth embedded in the arm is from a tiny, docile variety and something about the man’s young wife just isn’t adding up. So Yancey does what any logical person would do; he stores the arm in his freezer next to his popsicles and seafood in order to solve the crime without the help of the Monroe County Police. Throw in a real estate developer who blocks Yancey’s view of the sunset with his over-regulation-sized vacation home that he just can’t sell with a little help from Yancey’s plotting and a monkey who once starred in the pirate movies with Johnny Depp to get a mystery that will keep you on the edge of your seat with suspense.

Writing

Carl Hiaasen has a quick, witty style that works well in fast-paced murder mystery stories. The humor in the delivery of many of Yancey’s wacky situations are laugh-out-loud funny with some wince-worthy moments thrown in for the gross factor. While there may be moments where Hiaasen goes a little too over the top with the profanity or takes a certain situation a little too far, you’ll be won over in the end by Yancey’s dedication, savvy, and all-out bravery in the face of certain death.

Characters

Andrew Yancey is the character whose perspective is most often written in this comedic mystery, but you’ll also see a few other points of view including the unscrupulous real estate developer, the guy who plans to write the journal-turned-screenplay about Yancey’s ex-girlfriend who has a history of sleeping with her AP English students, a secondary protagonist who is trying to prevent some white guy from turning his family’s land into a resort, and, of course, Driggs, the monkey from those pirate movies. True to the tradition of hard-boiled murder mysteries, there’s a whole dossier full of unbelievably cartoonish characters that are larger than life on the page. Yancey gets involved with the married woman, Bonnie, who puts herself in ridiculous situations and whose dialogue comes through with a whiny-sounding accent. Dr. Rosa Campesino is soon the main woman in Yancey’s life, but she’s got an appetite for the dangerous and some of it is in the bedroom. Known as the Dragon Queen, a woman with the power to cast voodoo wants Driggs as payment for casting hexes on a particular “White Devil” in the story.

Fun Factor

The fun factor rating is high for Bad Monkey because it’s not only a great story with lots of humor, but it takes place in a tourist filled Key West in the middle of hurricane season. When the story changes venues to the island of Nassau in the Bahamas, the story gets a dash of culture shock which gives the reader a bit of perspective about how the natives feel about the tourism in the area.

Reading Recommendation

While Hiaasen writes books for children, this title is not recommended for a younger readership. With adult themes and language, older teens may be able to enjoy the story, but it’s a good idea to stick with an adult audience exclusively. Those who don’t mind a little irreverent humor will love this mystery along with anyone who loves reading about tropical, vacation-like settings.

 Bad Monkey is set in the beautiful Key West destination. Where would you like to vacation?


Lauren V. Bryant

 
Having studied library and information sciences in a graduate program at San Jose State University, Lauren is a professional librarian who has worked in school and public libraries. She currently works at a public library where she helps the public get e-books and other downloadables on their devices. Check out Lauren's website, http://www.LaurentheLibrarian.com/ for more book related articles and content. Check out all my articles.


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