Carl Hiaasen

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All my humor comes from anger. Satire is terrific therapy. Making people laugh is a joy, but making them think about something serious is the ultimate reward.

Carl Andrew Hiaasen (born March 12, 1953) is an American author and columnist, who writes a long-running opinion column for The Miami Herald, for which he has also worked as an investigative reporter. He has also published (as of 2019) twenty-one novels (including five for children and young adults), and several humorous non-fiction books.

Columns and articles[edit]


Tourist Season (1986)[edit]

  • B.D. Harper had not risen to the pinnacle of his profession by making enemies. His mission, in fact, had been quite the opposite: to make as many friends as possible and offend no one. Harper had been good at this. He positively excreted congeniality. (Chapter 3)
  • It was then that he had gotten the idea to invite journalists, but not just any journalists: travel writers. Sparky Harper and the Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce adored travel writers because travel writers never wrote stories about street crime, water pollution, fish kills, beach erosion, refugees, AIDS epidemics, nuclear accidents, cocaine smugglers, gun-runners, or race riots. Once in a while, a daring travel writer would mention one of these subjects in passing, but strictly in the context of a minor setback from which South Florida was pluckily rebounding. (Chapter 26)

Double Whammy (1987)[edit]

  • Bass magazines promote the species as the working man's fish, available to anyone within strolling distance of a lake, river, culvert, reservoir, rockpit, or drainage ditch. The bass is not picky; it is hardy, prolific, and on a given day will eat just about any God-awful lure dragged in front of its maw. As a fighter it is bullish, but tires easily; as a jumper its skills are admirable, though no match for a graceful rainbow trout or tarpon; as table fare it is blandly acceptable, even tasty when properly seasoned. Its astonishing popularity comes from a modest combination of these traits, plus the simple fact that there are so many largemouth bass swimming around that just about any damn fool can catch one. (Chapter 2)
  • He won the governorship running as a Democrat, but proved to be unlike any Democrat or Republican that the state of Florida had ever seen. To the utter confusion of everyone in Tallahassee, Clinton Tyree turned out to be a completely honest man. (Chapter 10)

Strip Tease (1993)[edit]

Lucky You (1997)[edit]

  • Bodean James Gazzer had spent thirty-one years perfecting the art of assigning blame. His personal credo - everything bad that happens is someone else's fault - could, with imagination, be stretched to fit any circumstance. Bode stretched it. The intestinal unrest that occasionally afflicted him surely was the result of drinking milk taken from secretly radiated cows. The roaches in his apartment were planted by his filthy immigrant next-door neighbors. His dire financial plight was caused by runaway bank computers and conniving Wall Street Zionists; his bad luck in the South Florida job market, prejudice against English-speaking applicants. Even the lousy weather had a culprit: air pollution from Canada, diluting the ozone and derailing the jet stream.

Sick Puppy (2000)[edit]

  • To meet someone with genuine political ideals was a rarity in Stoat's line of work. As a lobbyist, he had long ago concluded that there was no difference in how Democrats and Republicans conducted the business of government. The game stayed the same; it was always about favors and friends and who controlled the dough. Party labels were merely a way to keep track of the teams; issues were mostly smoke and vaudeville. Nobody believed in anything except hanging on to power, whatever it took. So at election time, Stoat advised his clients to hedge generously by donating large sums to all sides. The strategy was as immensely pragmatic as it was cynical. Stoat himself was registered independent, but he hadn't stepped inside a voting booth in fourteen years. He couldn't take the concept seriously; he knew too much. (Chapter 5)

Hoot (2002)[edit]

  • Honey, sometimes you’re going to be faced with situations where the line isn’t clear between what’s right and what’s wrong. Your heart will tell you to do one thing, and your brain will tell you to do something different. In the end, all that’s left is to look at both sides and go with your best judgment. (Chapter 13)

Star Island (2010)[edit]

  • It would have been understandable for a mother at that moment to stare at her spoiled, hapless offspring and doubt herself, or at least feel hobbled with remorse. But long ago Janet Bunterman had willingly accepted the role of her daughter's primary enabler, exploiter, and apologist, reasoning that such duties were better handled within the family. The fact that the whole pathetic clan was financially dependent on Cherry was the galvanizing force behind her mother's devotion, though Janet Bunterman preferred a more noble rationalization. Even though Cherry didn't write her own lyrics, and the vocals were shamelessly overdubbed, her music still brought happiness to millions of loyal young fans. It was them for whom Janet Bunterman imagined herself sacrificing so tirelessly. (Chapter 16)

Chomp (2012)[edit]

  • Raven sighed to herself. She was accustomed to working around Derek's enormous ego, but there were times when she felt like reminding him that he was basically a tap dancer, not a grizzled woodsman. (Chapter 3)

Razor Girl (2016)[edit]

  • The pilot episode of Bayou Brethren was a major disappointment, the visual appeal of high-def hog shit having been seriously overestimated by a network vice president who was summarily promoted to a more harmless position. The new network vice president in charge of the project felt the brothers needed a more esoteric vocation, to distract from their unappealing personalities, a view shared by potential advertisers who'd screened the off-putting pilot. (Chapter 1)
  • The show's producers had strategically cultivated a fandom with two distinct segments: those who were cynically amused by the boorish culture of the Nance clan, and those who identified with it. Each week, the writers strived to portray the brothers on a social bandwidth halfway between harmless rednecks and odious white trash. It was a precarious tightwire. (Chapter 14)
  • For all its daring, the plan was also laughably, fatally absurd. Later his mother would tell reporters that it proved she was right about living downwind from the paper mills. All those toxic vapors obviously stewed poor Benny's brain cells. A goddamn squirrel had more sense. (Chapter 19)
  • Buck stared at this degenerate ambassador for his own popularity, wondering how many other Brethren fans were homicidal, nut-job stalkers. Maybe it's time to quit the show and go fishin', he thought for the first time since Blister had removed his handcuffs. Dump the family. Move into the condo with Miracle. He wasn't sure how much money he had in the bank--five, six million bucks? Krystal would grab half, but so be it. An unhurried, unexamined existence looked pretty sweet to Buck--a life free from soggy collard greens, rooster shit, and all those fucking TV cameras in his face. (Chapter 19)


  • I try not to stand on a soapbox and scream. That's boring. You've got to be funny sometimes. All my humor comes from anger. Satire is terrific therapy. Making people laugh is a joy, but making them think about something serious is the ultimate reward.
  • I'm sort of fascinated by America's fascination with rednecks, the whole Duck Dynasty thing. Being a white guy from the South, I find it amazing that so many TV viewers are enchanted by beards, bad dentistry and moonshine accents. Also there’s this false notion that this is a regional phenomenon, when in fact every state in the union has hardcore rednecks. No exceptions.
    • "True-life Source Material Is Fabulously Bizarre", by Adrian Liang; Omnivoracious: The Amazon Book Review. September 8, 2016.

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