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A week of Florida writers – Part 3

Someone over on the London Observer staff said Carl Hiaasen is America’s finest satirical novelist, rating him right up there with Preston Sturges, Woody Allen, and S.J. Perelman.

High praise.

Hiaasen graduated from the University of Florida, where he wrote for the Independent Florida Alligator – love that name for a student newspaper – in 1974 with a degree in journalism.

Out of college, he took a reporting job with Cocoa Today, in Cocoa – where else – Florida.

After two years there, an editor at the Miami Herald hired him to work at his paper as a reporter. In time, Hiaasen moved over to the newspaper’s weekly magazine, then to the investigative staff. Now he’s a columnist and has been since 1985.

Hiaasen broke into the book world in the early 1980s, writing three mystery thrillers with fellow Herald reporter Bill Montalbano – Powder Burn, Trap Line, and A Death in China, the three published in ’81, ’82, and ’84 respectively.

Hiaasen then went on his own, writing 13 novels for adults and four environmental mysteries for kids, the first of which, Hoot, won a Newbery Honor award.

His newest novel for you and me, Bad Monkey, comes out in June. It has Hiaasen back doing what he does best, spinning a wickedly funny, fiercely pointed tale in which the greedy, the corrupt, and the degraders of pristine land in Florida get their comeuppance in ingenious and diabolically entertaining fashion. So Hiaasen says on his website.

He wouldn’t lie, would he?

Tomorrow: John D. MacDonald

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