Tuesday, January 19, 2021

Bad Money - Carl Hiaasen

I know that I promised to find novels by lesser-known authors. And I assure you that I will. Still, after my last venture into the unknown, I decided to delve into the past. And to that end, I found a review that I wrote a while back—Carl Hiaasen’s Bad Monkey. I want to share that review with you. 

“There is a thin line that separates laughter and pain, comedy and tragedy, humor and hurt.”—Erma Bombeck.

     I might add to Erma Bombeck’s quote; there’s a thin line between funny and ghastly. Carl Hiaasen doesn’t balance carefully between satire and black humor in the opening paragraphs of this book. He jumps feet first into a situational comedy. The author so skillfully crafts James Mayberry’s character that his arrogance and shamelessness, combine with a bold audacity to leave no doubt in the reader’s mind about this character’s true nature.

     What should be shockingly abhorrent to the reader is adroitly twisted by Hiaasen into a macabre, cynical sort of humor. The reader is left to experience both laughter and discomfort simultaneously. 

     The writing is first-rate; however, I did find it distracting when every reference to the Mayberry character included both his first and last name. After the character’s introduction, I think further references to him could have been with his first name only. This is a small criticism on the whole. 

     I liked that the protagonist, Andrew Yancy, isn’t perfect. Far from it. For me, that makes the character more believable, and I found him quite colorful besides.

     I thoroughly enjoyed this book, and I will be looking for another book by this author.

     I end this review with another quote. “The most wasted of all days is one without laughter.”—E.E. Cummings.

The time I spent reading Bad Monkey was not time misspent.

Shelley Lee Riley - Author of Into Madness, Book one in the Born From Stone Saga, and the memoir Casual Lies - A Triple Crown Adventure

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