Thursday, November 03, 2005
Carl Hiaasen & Dave Barry
Dave Barry was the first of these two writers that I discovered. I knew people who were fans of his newspaper column, and eventually began reading it myself sometimes. I was amused when I discovered he'd written an actual novel, called Big Trouble. I immediately read it and loved it. A year or two later, I read Tricky Business and loved it too.
Last week, I picked up a copy of Carl Hiaasen's young adult novel, Hoot. Before I read it, I read a little about Carl Hiaasen online. The general description of Hiaasen's fiction sounded a lot like Dave Barry's fiction. Interestingly, they are both writers at The Miami Herald.
I pulled my copy of Big Trouble off the shelf to take a look at it's acknowlegements section, where Dave Barry had thanked several other authors. Sure enough, Carl Hiaasen was one of them: "I especially want to thank Carl Hiaasen, who is the master of the genre I tried to write in -- the Bunch of South Florida Wackos genre...". So I figured since I like Dave Barry's books so much, I was probably going to like Carl Hiaasen a lot too.
And I was right! Well, at least as far as Hoot, anyway. It was excellent. I read it in about twelve hours (with breaks for eating, checking e-mail, and stuff like that), so it's definitely a quick read. The characters were interesting, and the plot had a heavy streak of environmental activism. Having been directly involved in environmental activism, and continuing to care deeply about the future of the Earth, reading about kids trying to save owls was very enjoyable for me.