Thursday 16 December 2010

Carl Hiaasen: Lucky You

jesus face on naan bread Bode Gazzer and no-last-name Chub have won the lottery. The two-man white supremacist militia can arm itself to the teeth and live on beer and fried food for life. Sadly for them, there's a fly in the ointment - JoLayne Lucks has also won. Even worse, she's a woman, and worse still -- she has Black Skin. The only thing to do is cunningly beat her up and steal her ticket.

Surprisingly, our two vicious petty criminals manage to execute their plan and run off with ticket and JoLayne's credit card. Which they use over and over in a Hooters because they like the food and they fancy waitress Amber. They are of the type who believes the Jewnited Nations is poised to invade the USA, with helicopters massing already on the Mexican border. If I were Ben Elton I'd comment at this point that the only thing the UN would invade would be the brothels and the bars, but never mind.

Author's Page: Carl Hiaasen

JoLayne lives in the small town of Grange, Florida. Grange doesn't have much going for it economically so the enterprising residents have made it a stop on the Christian Sites circuit. There's a Roadside Jesus (sacred manifestation or oil stain to you and me), a Weeping Virgin (variously, tears are clear water, cochineal solution and perfume) and a man who drilled holes in his own hands.

She wants to buy a plot of land and preserve it for nature with her winnings. She especially doesn't want a pair of evil little crackers like Bode and Chub to get away with their crimes. Enlisting the help of Tom Krome, the journalist sent to interview her, the chase begins.

Krome of course has his own problems. There's the actress wife who won't divorce him and hides from process servers in out of the way theatres. There's the judge's wife who confesses her adultery with Krome to her husband, blow by blow, so to speak. Which is why the judge sets an incompetent hitman on Krome's trail.

Hiaasen has moved away from his usual themes of political and business corruption to explore small-town foibles and right wing nonsense. He gently pokes fun at the former and savages the latter. Along the way we get an excellent comic thriller building to Hiaasen's customary grand finish.

Very funny, very well written, Carl Hiaasen's usual standards are maintained. You'll like this one.

Before you turn away in disbelief at the Christian Sites bit, try a google for "jesus signs in food" -- painful! "Perhaps the most famous food-related sighting of religious symbolism in recent times is a likeness of the Virgin Mary that appeared on a grilled cheese sandwich. Florida resident Diana Duyser discovered the image after she'd taken a bite from the sandwich. For 10 years, Duyser kept the partially eaten Holy Sandwich in a clear plastic box on her night stand. In 2004, she sold the sandwich on eBay to, an Internet casino, for $28,000. is the same company that made another well-publicized purchase. They bought William Shatner's kidney stone."

What I Wanted For Christmas: The New Kindle

Source of quotation above on Holy Sandwich


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