Carl Hiaasen was born and raised in South Florida. He attended Emory University and graduated from The University of Florida with a degree in journalism in 1974.
He landed a job with the Miami Herald, starting as a general assignment reporter then later joining the investigations team, investigating such things as dangerous doctors, crooked land deals, corrupt politicians and drugs in the Bahamas
. He now writes a twice weekly column for that has made him not so popular with some people in public office.
In the eighties he started publishing his fiction. His novels have been published in 21 languages.The London Observer
called him "Americas funniest satirical writer."
Louise Berkow (Comsopolitan
) describes Hiaasen's fiction as "unbelievably funny -- tears-running-down-your-cheeks funny in spite of some pretty weighty themes like the destruction of the environment." Tony Hillerman
calls him "the Mark Twain of the crime novel." (I think they got a quote from Hillerman because their books are so close in the Mystery Section of bookstores. Just guessing though.)
Hiaasen has also contributed lyrics to two Warren Zevon
songs. "Seminole Bingo" and "Rottweiler Blues". Special thanks to etouffee who reminded me of this fact.
Hiaasens' fiction is an entertaining read. Most of his work has a pro-environment theme. Funny and often containing recurring characters, such as "Skink", an eccentric ex-governor who has gone recluse and is always giving the protagonists a hand when needed, and Jim Tile, a State Trooper
who used to be the Govenors bodyguard and now keeps an eye on him. (No easy task, this.)
The heroes in his books are usually newspaper men. This lets him draw from his own experiences and makes his books that much richer in texture.His female characters are well written and I'm sure I'd fall in love with any one of them if they popped off the page and into my life. He also peoples his books with memorable characters. I mean how soon are you gonna forget a huge albino with a prosthetic
weed whacker in place of his arm? (Yup, it's true. He's in the book "Skin Tight".)
His non-fiction is just as entertaining as his fiction. In Team Rodent
he runs down the Disney Co. like it should be done. He has said that his mission in life is "to be permanently banned from Disney World
." (I couldn't picture ever wanting to do that, but...If I
were in charge for a day, I'd sell off every subsidary of Disney Co. that doesn't currently put Walts name on their products.)
Carl Hiaasen and Bill Montalbano
Powder Burn (1981, Vintage/Black Lizard)-Let me get this straight. I witness a murder and you want to use me for bait?
Trap Line (1982, Vintage/Black Lizard)-Now smugglers are threatening my kid so I'll be a delivery man?
A Death in China (1984, Vintage/Black Lizard)- A mentors death and assasination by Cobra!
By Hiaasen himself
Tourist Season (1986, Warner Books)-
If they are in season, why can't we shoot them?
Double Whammy (1987, Warner Books)- Something's "fishy" on the Pro Fishing Tour!
Skin Tight (1989, Warner Books)- Corrupt plastic surgeons and murder!
Native Tongue (1991, Fawcett Crest)- Voles? With blue tongues? A Florida Theme Park developer with nasty plans for the environment? Could it be true?
Stormy Weather (1993, Warner Books)- Shoddy home construction and insurance fraud after a huge hurricane!
(1993, Warner Books)- Yup! This is the book that the movie is based on!
Lucky You (1997, Warner Books)- Two winners of the Lottery and one gets greedy. Add in a town where "Miracles" happen, can it get any stranger?
Naked Came the Manatee (1998, Ballantine Books) A collaborative effort with 12 other Floridian
authors, Elmore Leonard Dave Barry James W. Hall Edna Buchanan Les Standiford Paul Levine Brian Antoni Tananarive Due John Dufresne Vicki Hendricks Carolina Hospital Evelyn Mayerson
Each author wrote a chapter (1995) and they were serialized in The Miami Herald Tropic.
Sick Puppy (2000, Warner Books)- Enviromental degradation and an Eco Terrorist vows revenge!
Basket Case (2002, Knopf)- Our hero on the case of a strange scuba death and an editor out to fire our hero!
HOOT- (Available September 10th, 2002, from Knopf.)-A new kid in town with an ecological mystery to solve. Hiaasens first childrens novel!
Team Rodent- How Disney Devours the World
(1999, Library of Contemporary Thought/Random House)- Anti Disney Manifesto! I'm a fan of Walt Disney (the man), and I LOVED this book! That'll teach them to scrap Walts' plans for Epcot!!!
Collections of his Column
Kick Ass (1999, Berkely Publishing Group)
Paradise Screwed (2001, Putnam Publishing Group)
My collection of his works, most of which resides in CO while I'm in MA.