Native Tongue by Carl Hiaasen
I picked up Native Tongue for the first time in Europe. I was thirteen and I had already gone through the books that I had brought for the trip. An adult I was traveling with handled me this (along with an Anne Rice book) and I fell in love with the story of an ex reporter turned PR man. Coupled with the story of an ex-governor and a pair of bumbling thieves, Native Tongue is a great gateway into the world of Hiaasen.
Re-reading this book, I was reminded by the theme of preservation. Nature is King in Florida, and also in Hiaasen’s world, and those who forget that, tend to get ‘theirs’ in hideous ways. And the reporter in me loves the old reporter talk from Joe Winder’s days in the bullpen.
When the precious blue-tongued mango voles at the Amazing Kingdom of Thrills on North Key Largo are stolen by heartless, ruthless thugs, Joe Winder wants to uncover why, and find the voles. Joe is lately a PR man for the Amazing Kingdom theme park, but now that the voles are gone, Winder is dragged along in their wake through a series of weird and lethal events that begin with the sleazy real-estate agent/villain Francis X. Kingsbury and can end only one way.
Who Should Read This Book: Fans of humor, dark humor and who want a bazaar, gonzo-type story mired in a little bit of truth.
Final Thoughts: This continues to be one of my favorite Carl Hiaasen books. While I mourn the death of the blue tongued vole as a species, I am happy that dolphins get to win in the end, though. I feel like wildlife wins at the end of each Hiaasen book, which is a good or a bad thing, depending on how you feel about wildlife in Florida. I read most of this on an airplane, listening to the audiobook while on a red eye flight (and seeing dinosaurs with lighted exoskeletons do construction work in some weird way–I blame exhaustion) and reading the ebook on my Kindle. I bought a copy of the paperback for my husband on a trip to Florida, but I have no idea where THAT copy is. Maybe I’ll find it shortly.