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Nature Girl

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Nature Girl

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Honey Santana--impassioned, willful, possibly bipolar, self-proclaimed "queen of lost causes"--has a scheme to help rid the world of irresponsibility, indifference, and dinnertime sales calls. She's...
Honey Santana--impassioned, willful, possibly bipolar, self-proclaimed "queen of lost causes"--has a scheme to help rid the world of irresponsibility, indifference, and dinnertime sales calls. She's...
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Subjects-
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Copies-
  • Available:
    3
  • Library copies:
    4
Levels-
  • ATOS:
  • Lexile:
    900
  • Interest Level:
  • Reading Level:
    4 - 5


 
Description-
  • Honey Santana--impassioned, willful, possibly bipolar, self-proclaimed "queen of lost causes"--has a scheme to help rid the world of irresponsibility, indifference, and dinnertime sales calls. She's taking rude, gullible Relentless, Inc., telemarketer Boyd Shreave and his less-than-enthusiastic mistress, Eugenie--the fifteen-minute-famous girlfriend of a tabloid murderer--into the wilderness of Florida's Ten Thousand Islands for a gentle lesson in civility. What she doesn't know is that she's being followed by her Honey-obsessed former employer, Piejack (whose mismatched fingers are proof that sexual harassment in the workplace is a bad idea). And he doesn't know he's being followed by Honey's still-smitten former drug-running ex-husband, Perry, and their wise-and-protective-way-beyond-his-years twelve-year-old-son, Fry. And when they all pull up on Dismal Key, they don't know they're intruding on Sammy Tigertail, a half white--half Seminole failed alligator wrestler, trying like hell to be a hermit despite the Florida State coed who's dying to be his hostage . . .

    Will Honey be able to make a mensch of a "greedhead"? Will Fry be able to protect her from Piejack--and herself? Will Sammy achieve his true Seminole self? Will Eugenie ever get to the beach? Will the Everglades survive the wild humans? All the answers are revealed in the delectably outrageous mayhem that propels this novel to its Hiaasen-of-the-highest-order climax.

    BONUS: This edition includes an excerpt from Carl Hiaasen's Bad Monkey.

Excerpts-
  • Chapter One On the second day of January, windswept and bright, a half-blood Seminole named Sammy Tigertail dumped a dead body in the Lostmans River. The water temperature was fifty-nine degrees, too nippy for sharks or alligators.

    But maybe not for crabs, thought Sammy Tigertail.

    Watching the corpse sink, he pondered the foolishness of white men. This one had called himself Wilson when he arrived on the Big Cypress reservation, reeking of alcohol and demanding an airboat ride. He spoke of ringing in the New Year at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino, which was owned by the Seminole tribe on eighty-six acres between Miami and Fort Lauderdale. Wilson told Sammy Tigertail that he'd been sorely disappointed not to find a single Indian at the casino, and that after a full night of drinking, hot babes and seven-card stud he'd driven all the way out to Big Cypress just to get himself photographed with a genuine Seminole.

    "Some dumbass bet me a hundred bucks I couldn't find one," Wilson said, slinging a flabby arm around Sammy Tigertail, "but here you are, brother. Hey, where can I buy one of them cardboard cameras?"

    Sammy Tigertail directed Wilson toward a convenience store. The man returned with a throwaway Kodak, a bag of beef jerky and a six-pack. Mercifully, the airboat engine was so loud that it drowned out most of Wilson's life story. Sammy Tigertail heard enough to learn that the man was from the greater Milwaukee area, and that for a living he sold trolling motors to walleye fishermen.

    Ten minutes into the ride, Wilson's cheeks turned pink from the chill and his bloodshot eyes started leaking and his shoulders hunched with the shakes. Sammy Tigertail stopped the airboat and offered him hot coffee from a thermos.

    "How 'b-b-bout that picture you promised?" Wilson asked.

    Sammy Tigertail patiently stood beside him as the man extended one arm, aiming the camera back at them. Sammy Tigertail was wearing a fleece zip-up from Patagonia, a woolen navy watch cap from L.L. Bean and heavy khakis from Eddie Bauer, none of which would be considered traditional Seminole garb. Wilson asked Sammy Tigertail if he had one of those brightly beaded jackets and maybe a pair of deerskin moccasins. The Indian said no.

    Wilson instructed him not to smile and snapped a couple of pictures. Afterward, Sammy Tigertail cranked up the airboat and set out to finish the swamp tour at the highest-possible speed. Because of the cold weather there was practically no wildlife to be observed, but Wilson didn't seem to mind. He'd gotten what he came for. Squinting against the wind, he gnawed a stick of dried beef and sipped on a warm Heineken.

    Sammy Tigertail took a shortcut through a prairie of tall saw grass, which flattened under the airboat's bow as neatly as wheat fields beneath a combine. Without warning, Wilson arose from his seat and dropped the beer bottle, spraying the deck. As Sammy Tigertail backed off the throttle, he saw Wilson begin to wobble and snatch at his own throat. Sammy Tigertail thought the man was gagging on a chunk of jerky, but in fact he was trying to remove from his doughy neck a small banded water snake that had sailed out of the parting reeds.

    The creature was harmless, but evidently Wilson was in no condition to be surprised by a flying reptile. He dropped stone-dead of a heart attack before his Seminole guide could get the boat stopped.

    The first thing that Sammy Tigertail did was lift the little snake off the lifeless tourist and release it into the marsh. Then he took Wilson's left wrist and groped for a pulse. Sammy Tigertail felt obliged to unbutton the man's shirt and pound on his marbled chest for several minutes....
About the Author-
  • Carl Hiaasen was born and raised in Florida. He is the author of ten previous novels, including the best-selling Skinny Dip, Sick Puppy, and Lucky You, and two best-selling children's books, Hoot and Flush. He also writes a weekly column for The Miami Herald.

Reviews-
  • Clayton Moore, Rocky Mountain News

    "Hiaasen [is] king of the screwball comedies . . . Nobody escapes unscathed in this web of hilarious stories that intertwine and bisect each other like a nest of vipers . . . The charismatic, animated characters deliver lines that will bring tears of laughter to even the most jaundiced readers . . . This is top-notch storytelling by a truly original comic novelist."

  • Adam Woog, Seattle Times "A big-hearted and deeply funny book . . . All of Carl Hiaasen's obsessions are on full-tilt boogie."
  • Alan Michael Parker, Atlanta Journal-Constitution "A whole lot 'Survivor,' a little bit 'The Tempest,' with a pinch of Laurel and Hardy . . . Hiaasen is always good for a number of laugh-aloud scenes and lines . . . His ear is pitch-perfect. The dialogue sings in Nature Girl."
  • Jane H. Furse, New York Daily News "Hiaasen once again makes the case that life in his backyard really is more absurd than in ours . . . Nature Girl deserves the laughs it will get, from sea to shining sea."
  • Cary Darling, Fort Worth Star-Telegram "A breeze of a read, full of the usual Hiaasen whimsy."
  • John Leland, New York Times Book Review "Hiaasen's arch potboilers, pitched in the low latitudes of Florida and the lower strata of human evolution, revolve around a few solid observations about the species: in a fallen world, damaged people will sometimes do noble things; and heels will always be heels. Hiaasen's campfire voice, perpetually amused by the resourcefulness with which his characters reaffirm his opinion of human nature, provides a core of truthiness . . . [His] wasteland is as retributive as Cormac McCarthy's, but funnier . . . Honey is a classic Woman in Jep, of the sort Hollywood seems to have abandoned . . . Hiaasen's pacing is impeccable, and the scenes follow one another like Lay's potato chips . . . I purred warmly through the novels' twists and further twists . . . An entertaining ride."
  • Malcolm Jones, Newsweek "Hiaasen isn't just Florida's sharpest satirist--he's one of the few funny writers left in the whole country . . . I think of him as a national treasure [and] I have yet to be disappointed. Nature Girl, Hiaasen's latest, keeps his string going in fine fashion . . . Hiaasen is not just a good comic writer. He's just a good writer."
  • Carolyn See, Washington Post Book World "Just sit back and watch as Carl Hiaasen, with his customary flourish, spins a glittering magic wheel and comes up with another set of characters only he could create . . . The book is an island romp."
  • David Lazarus, San Francisco Chronicle "When he's in good form, Hiaasen, like Elmore Leonard, shouldn't be missed. Nature Girl is one of his better efforts . . . As usual, Hiaasen throws his colorful characters into an increasingly frenetic mix, and the fun lies in watching how, or if, they'll manage to extricate themselves. One reason Nature Girl works so well is the fact that much of the action is confined to a single island, allowing the characters to intermingle and weave in and out of view."
  • Jonathan Miles, Men's Journal "Winter reading needn't be without comic hijinks . . . Nature Girl is a hilarious romp through the Everglades led by a bipolar divorced mom named Honey Santana, who cooks up a baroque plan to get back at a rude telephone solicitor."
  • Clea Simon, Boston Globe "As depicted by the deft pen of Carl Hiaasen, ecoterrorism is not only justified, it's hilarious . . . He's at it again in his distinctive, madcap style . . . [A] breakneck narrative."
  • Dan Lopez, Time Out New York "Hilarious . . . A lifelong resident of the Sunshine State, [Hiaasen's] novels have always addressed the state's ecological and social ills with scathing satire, ironic comeuppance and an ever-evolving sensibility . . . Everybody's airport-reading favorite flies high again."
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    Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
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