Re: RARA-AVIS: Carl Hiaasen

From: Peedie Monk (
Date: 19 May 2002

Brian wrote:

> I haven't seen The Miami Herald's *other* resident funny guy (after Dave
> Barry) mentioned here. Any read any of his mystery stuff? "Lucky You" is
> good, and man oh man, if you haven't laughed yourself silly over the
> asion-by-a-desperate-and-shady-plastic-surgeon" subplot in "Skin Tight",
> you owe it to yourself. I re-read that book once per year, twice if I get
> unduly depressed. Talk about black comedy.

Anyone who likes Hiaasen may want to check out Christopher Brookmyre, particularly with British HB month approaching. Brookmyre's often described as a Scottish Carl Hiaasen. As far as I'm aware, he isn't published in North America, but all his books are easily available this side of the Atlantic. "Not The End Of The World" is my favourite, probably his most serious novel, and, unlike the others, is set in America. It opens with a brilliantly updated Mary Celeste scenario. "Quite Ugly One Morning" was his first, and won a CWA award for best first crime novel . It wins my award for best opening sentence, short and to the point: "Jesus fuck!" "One Fine Day In The Middle Of The Night" is his homage to 80s action movies. Much of it is set on a disused oil rig that an entrepreneur has purchased with the view of turning it into a floating holiday resort for people who want the familiarity of home (Bingo, chip shops, pub grub) in the sun. The rig gets targeted by a motley crew of mercenaries while the entrepreneur is using it to host his class reunion. Brookmyre gets progressively political throughout his writing. "Boiling A Frog" and "A Big Boy Did It And Ran Away", his two most recent, are too didactic for my taste. Others disagree. Anyway, most people agree that he's very, very funny. I've been to a few of his readings in bookstores and seen people literally falling off their seats
(with laughter, I assume, and not because they'd fallen asleep).

Al Guthrie

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