Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Basket Case by Carl Hiaasen

  • Audio Cassette
  • Publisher: Random House Audio; Abridged edition (January 2, 2002)
  • ISBN-10: 0553714856
  • ISBN-13: 978-0553714852
  • List price: $25.00
  • I finished listening to this audio book on April 17
So, I have been meaning to read something by Hiaasen, and I plucked this one up because it was read by him as well (also because I had to drive to Rochester and needed something fun). I've gotta say, for my first run I liked it, and someday I will read more by him.
Here's the scoop (please enjoy newspaper pun): Jack Tagger is a writer whose been sent to the bad boys corner to wear a dunce cap - otherwise known as a the obituary page. (Having gone to school for journalism I concur that this is a very lame assignment - mostly checking facts). One day Jack gets a death notice for a man he realizes is widely known as Jimmy Stoma, lead singer of the rock band Jimmy and the Slut Puppies (best band name ever? yes). He hopes that this obit will be the one to get him back on the front page. But, in investigating the death he discovers more than he bargained for. He's sure that Jimmy's death wasn't an accident, but he's not sure how to prove it. What's a newspaper man to do? In no particular order I recommend sleeping with your editor, hitting someone with a giant frozen lizard and wearing a cool disguise (hint: our hero does two out of those three things, you get to guess which). I think it's important for you to know that there is a character named Opossum Man. Let that marinade.
This is a great satire of the newspaper business, and I really enjoyed it. I liked the main character, and the good strong neurotic first person account he gave. I also liked Hiaasen's reading. His voice is thin and reedy at times, but also likable and calm. He even did voices, which I give him full marks for. While he is no Tim Curry ( and really, who is?) or Stephen King (with his oddly enticing accent) he did really well with the voice acting and his delivery was good.
Hiaasen's website is good, and there is a decent faq about each book. Also, there are several lyrics of Slut Puppies songs in the book. Apparently, Hiaasen commisioned Warren Zevon to write the song the title is named after. You can see lyrics here, and if you want, buy it at Itunes.

1 comment:

norman said...

Hello, Just wanted to let you know I really like your blog, especially the sub text “the ultimate struggle….” I always want to read something well respected and scholarly and something that makes me feel like I got something out of my education, but I always end up just grabbing an Agatha Christie novel and having a ball with it. Well keep it up take care-norm