BOOK REVIEWS

Bad Monkey Reviews

UPDATE TIME: 2017-05-31 
Review Score: 4 out of 5 star From 2 user ratings
ISBN:0446556149
LANGUAGE:English

"Since October, Carl Hiaasen’s Bad Monkey has sat on my shelf glaring at me. If you’ve seen a picture of the book’s cover, you know this is no joke—that monkey is pissed off. The monkey is right; I should have read the book sooner.

Andrew Yancey is a former detective now restaurant inspector of Monroe County (Florida). He’s having a few rough months: his quiet view of the ocean is being invaded by a jerk building a too-high McMansion; his girl-friend is a fugitive on the run from justice; and there’s an arm in his freezer that no one wants—not the Miami police department nor his own (former) police department—so he’s storing it in his freezer. Next to the popsicles. Yancey’s theory that the owner of the arm didn’t die in an accidental boating death propels him to pursue the conflicting evidence. Medicare fraud, the Russian mafia, and dumb criminals pop up (and some try to kill him) while Yancey tries to uncover the truth—who killed the owner of the arm and why?

This is A++ pure brain candy reading. Andrew Yancey is not exactly a good guy (he sodomized the husband of his girlfriend with a vacuum cleaner hose attachment) but he’s funny, he’s smart and he’s a bit weird. I didn’t necessarily like him, but I didn’t have to in order to enjoy this loopy book with its variety of crazy characters and nutty plot. I also enjoyed the side plots of Bonnie, his ex-girlfriend and fugitive from the law, and his battle with Evan Shook, the man building the too-damn-big house right next to his. I didn’t even try to figure out who did what in this book, I basically just enjoyed the ride. I didn’t find the book a “comedic marvel” but it is amusing and I laughed out loud a few times.

This book takes place in Florida (I think all of Hiaasen’s books do), a state I’ve visited and am not all that fond of (too sweaty) but it was pleasant to bask in the descriptions of sunny days while snow is falling outside my window. What I liked the most about this book is that the end is very satisfying—justice is served in a very appropriate way for all the bad guys and bad girls in this book. Is it a bit too pat and unrealistic? Of course. But this book isn’t about realism. It’s about colorful characters doing crazy shit and how karma (in the guise of a bad monkey and Yancey) comes back around to bite them in the ass. In a world in which justice seems to rarely be served to those who deserve it the most, I enjoyed seeing bad guys for once get exactly what was coming to them, even if it was entirely fictional.

Bad Monkey is a fun, fast read. It is well-written, the plot makes sense, and the ending was a surprise for me. I highly recommend it. I probably won’t read this book again so I’ll donate it to my local library, but it was worth the $12 or whatever I paid for it. I’ll definitely turn to another Carl Hiaasen book the next time my brain needs a vacation.
" said.

" Usually, I like when a book goes on with telling outcomes and wraps things up after the main resolution/climax, but this became a bit long-winded. I actually had some troubles keeping up with the cast and who did what after the drama was played out. Otherwise it is a very readable story and very much in style for Hiassen: odd characters, strange and awkward violent or sexual situations, big helpings of black humor, environmental awareness and karmic justice. " said.

" (See our full review over at Bookkaholic.) A wacky comedy featuring the same detective from Hiaasen's other books, Yancey, but this time he's been demoted to food inspector on the island. Things go from suspicious to weird when Yancey tries to track down the origins of an arm that ended up on the end of a tourist's fishing line complete with extravagant wedding band, a missing watch worth over 200,000 dollars, and the middle finger pointing up. " said.

"Bad Monkey by Carl Hiaasen.

If you wanted a story to calm your nerves or bring any relaxation to your life...get away from this book and this author immediately! You have been warned. This book was one wild ride from beginning to end written by an author who is certifiably _ _ _ _ _ _! Forget realistic.

This crazy tale begins with an arm...a human arm being found in the freezer of Andrew Yancy of the Monroe County Sheriff's Dept. Where is the rest of this unknown person and how did his or her arm end up in Yancy's freezer?

Then comes the array of berserk characters. This was my first chance at reading a book by this well known author and I can't say if there will be another. I am still recovering from this but this author carried it off. There were moments when the most outrageous words would come shooting out at me that would leave me in stitches. Laughing out loud to say the least.

Read this story at your own risk...this story and this author is most certainly ONE OF A KIND.
" said.

"OK, this book is on the level with David Copperfield and War and Peace. It represents a new literary field, a book that makes me laugh so hard that I feel ashamed of myself. Last night while I was finishing it when my wife was sleeping, I began to laugh over a particularly slapstick portion and tried to contain myself. I hurt so badly that I had to stop and get water. Hiaasen has no decency. He garners stories from the actual news. Thus you are left wondering if a woman who has fallen in love or in lust with an ex-police officer will actually testify against him when he tries to sodomize her husband with a Hoover? At any rate, whatever the opposite of James Elroy is, Hiaasen represents it. I was completely strung out on the serious surgery of my son, and into that world sprung, Bad Monkey, named for a capuchin so vile and ungovernable that he cannot work on Pirates of the Caribbean. The attacks of the monkey are funny enough to read the book. I recommend it to anyone, but don't let anyone else know that you are reading it. It will lower their estimation of you. I'm too old to care." said.

"this review refers to the audiobook version.

Hiassen is waaaaay too funny.

his books are always a romp, bringing up sometimes serious issues with wicked good humor. in this book, we get real estate development and Medicare fraud all wrapped up in the tale of a shark-chomped arm and a mysteriously not-really-grieving widow.

our hero, a cop who was demoted to food inspector for a rather nasty bit of knight-in-shining-armor-ness, desperately wants his detective job back before he dies of starvation: inspecting restaurants has definitely put him off his feed. along comes the aforementioned arm, and he's off on a not legally sanctioned investigation into the death of its former owner.

along the way he does a little civil disobedience vis. his new view-destroying next door neighbor, builder of a monstrosity intended only for a fast sale. i've no idea what kind of twisted mind Hiassen actually has, but i wouldn't want to try to build an ugly house next door to him.

the book is exceptionally paced, with a lot of balls kept masterfully in the air. it does get a little hard to track who's who (at least in the audio version)--there are a lot of characters--but entirely worth the effort.

the choice of narrator in the audio version seems a bit odd--Arte Johnson is a gravelly-voiced fellow, sounding much older than one imagines the protag to be, but he does a respectable job even with the women's voices.
" said.

"This was a solid three for some witty turns of phrase and a decent story idea. The first half flowed well (though, most halfwits could have figured out the twist very early on). Then, something went lazy and off about the editorial choices. For instance, a red pen could have been very handy to stop the author from starting too many sentences with "Which, blah blah blah" and ending an inordinate number of sentences with "blah blah blah, whatever." It would be one thing to use these speaking styles with specific characters, but everybody lapsed into these two trends. What else? The sub plots and side plots were numerous and poorly developed. We never really learned much about the protagonist. Not even a physical description. The author also fell into the habit of randomly back tracking to explain pieces of the mystery toward the latter portions if the book. In a mystery, this just belies an inability to lay incremental breadcrumbs down for the ultimate reveal. In fact, the book's emotional and active climax occurred way before the book ended. Then it continued to drag forth with bad sentences and think-backs trying to tie up loose ends in a John Grisham type way, but not so well. Clunky.

The book was alright enough to warrant finishing, whatever. But, with the raw material he invented, I feel like the book didn't live up to its potential. Which, that's the reason it only gets three stars.

(Which, see what I did there? Yeah. Repeat that 100 times and its like literary Chinese water torture, whatever.)
" said.

"If I lived in Florida, I'd try and draft Carl Hiaasen to run for Congress so he can represent the Florida he loves so dearly, and continue his quixotic quest to call attention to the Medicare fraudsters, environmental abusers, real estate developing swindlers and other denizens who prey on his state. The hearings won't be as much fun as his books, but they would be a damned site more entertaining than they are now...This latest book is tons of whacked out fun - I can't believe it's been so long since I savored one of Hiaasen's books - it won't be such a long hiatus til the next one! I was thrilled to get this book from Amazon Vine; I had forgotten how wicked yet brilliant the action, humor and dialogue were in his mystery/humor/farces? I'm not exactly sure what category he fits in, but who cares? I love his dialogue, I love that his lead characters are very real, average joes, not supermen, and I love that his bad guys are truly diabolical human beings yet get their fair share of very funny lines so while you can enjoy their "stage time", when the end comes and cosmic justice is meted out, you can savor it without regret, no matter how gruesome a form it takes...

I really enjoyed this story of down-and-out suspended cop Andrew Yancy trying desperately to get his badge back. A Key West tourist snags a human arm while fishing and Yancy ends up with the job of taking it to to the Miami coroner - Yancy's boss has political aspirations and floating body parts lead to too many questions and scare away the tourists. Miami won't take it so Yancy stores it in his freezer and starts investigating what he suspects is a murder - he hopes to get his job back, but stumbles, in true Hiaasen style, into massive Medicare fraud, tourist hustles, and a voodoo witch.

Yancy is also trying to derail the plans of a developer destroying the sunset views next door with an obscene, 7000-square-foot behemoth of a spec house. No spoilers, but as another review pointed out here there is a lot going on, and most of it sounds insane if you don't read it for yourself - so crack open a cold one and savor this hilarious beach read this summer!
" said.

July 2017 New Book:

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