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Tourist Season

3.95  ·  Rating Details ·  14,467 Ratings  ·  601 Reviews
This is an alternate cover edition of ISBN 0446343455 (ISBN13: 9780446343459).

The only trace of the first victim was his Shriner's fez washed up on the Miami beach. The second victim, the head of the city's chamber of commerce, was found dead with a toy rubber alligator lodged in his throat. And that was just the beginning.... Now Brian Keyes, reporter turned private eye,
Mass Market Paperback, 378 pages
Published February 1987 by Warner Books (first published 1986)
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Reading this for my book club and, while I have read a few Hiaasen books before, I have always wanted to go back and start at the beginning.

Hiaasen has a unique style that I think is easy to either love or hate. For me, it is very odd and unrealistic, but it adds a nice bit of crazy humor to the story. In this novel, it took me about 1/3 of the way to get used to the style.

In the end, I liked the story and the style quite a bit. Despite being odd, it was also very touching at points; heroes you
Apr 08, 2013 Jeff rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: humor
Three and a half stars.

Just like Donovan used to sit at the feet of Bob Dylan, Carl Hiaasen will forever be an Elmore Leonard wannabe. Now, this isn’t a bad thing. If your child wants to grow up to be president, you’d want them to model themselves after Abe Lincoln and not Warren Harding or Franklin Pierce.

The novel, Hiaasen’s first, is pretty good, but you can see Hiaasen measuring himself up against the master. Fortunately, here he sticks with what he knows best: the newspaper business, civili
Kim Kaso
4.5 stars, loss of 1/2 star for outrageously callous attitude about the death of the tourists, which I know was at the heart of the novel, but author enjoyed it just a little too much.

One of the first Hiaasen books I encountered, and still stands up. A wild ride with looney tunes terrorists, a plethora of bodies, sympathetic heroes being met with obstacles from every direction, and gonzo writing. If Carl Hiaasen shares some measure of the angst of Skip Wiley, writing these books is excellent th
Jun 22, 2016 Algernon rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2016

His name is Pavlov. He is a North American crocodile, one of only about thirty left in the entire world. He's a shade over seventeen feet and weighs about the same as a Porsche 915. All that tonnage with a brain no bigger than a tangerine. Isn't nature wonderful, Brian? Who said God doesn't have a sense of humor?

Carl Hiaasen showcases his own brand of humor in this novel, his first solo effort as a writer. Many of his signature moves are present: his overriding concern for the environmen
David - proud Gleeman in Branwen's adventuring party
I'll write a full review when I have the time, but for now, here's...


- Book is very funny and creative
- Lead villain is both fascinating and frightening, and his bizarre motives only make him that much more compelling
- Biting social satire is executed perfectly
- Hiaasen's unconventional story and writing style makes reading this one a unique experience

- The protagonists are not nearly as interesting as the villains
- The love story expl
May 04, 2013 Adam rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: usa, un-put-down-able
This enjoyable and somewhat bizarre book is un-put-downable and probably could easily be read in under two hours, but I read it a few pages at a time in order to prolong the suspense and the enjoyable story it offers.

Set, as most of Hiassen's books are, in Florida this fast-paced thriller begins with the discovery of a number of murder victims. Each of these apparently unconnected victims have been 'done in' in one of a number of bizarre ways. It emerges that they are all victims of a terrorist
Heather Smeltzer
I've seen Carl Hiaasen's books all over and have been curious to read one; however, I didn't really click with his style of storytelling. The subject was fun and the writing pretty good; could've done with a little less cursing and use of non-PC language.
Tom Croom
Dec 01, 2010 Tom Croom rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Growing up in South Florida, you realize that there are certain unwritten rules for living here. Some are obvious ("Thou shalt own at least one Jimmy Buffett album.") Others are learned from experience ("Thou shalt add thirty minutes of drive time to any location during Snow Bird season.") One of my favorites, though, I only learned about five years ago:

"Carl Hiaasen understands our screwed up state, and thou shalt read his novels for insight."

I was introduced to Carl's works via word of mouth w
Thomas Strömquist
After 3 books co-written with William D. Montalbano Hiaasen wrote 'Tourist Season' in 1986, effectively kickstarting what I regard as the golden decade of his. The humor was even more expressed (and if possible even darker) when he was on his own. The satire a bit more biting. The characters a bit more twisted. There are certainly things to ask for in his writing, but the fifth star is there for pure entertainment value. If you know what you're in for you this can't go wrong.
aPriL does feral sometimes
I always am a little disconcerted by Carl Hiaasen books because he confounds me. I never know where he is going with his story. The tone of his books in particular leave me wondering for the first 50 or so pages: is this supposed to be funny? A satire? A detective genre? Serious and sad? A thriller? A quick beach read? Tourist Season struck me the same as other books by CH. Bad things happen to innocent people as well as to characters who are obviously to be booed whenever they appear.

Since mos
Matthew Stechel
I love Carl Hiaasen. Nobody turns a phrase quite like him, and nobody comes up with as wonderfully cracked villians (and heroes) quite like him (altho lord knows a lot of authors try and some of em even come nice and close)

This being his very first novel has a very nifty idea at its heart--one almost too good to spoil in a synopsis but the title kinda gives it away (Tourist Season--think about it) However as clever as the idea is, and as warped as the villian in this novel is---i kinda thought
Nov 02, 2010 Ensiform rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
Set in Miami, this satiric novel of eco-terrorism concerns a newspaper reporter turned private eye who is pitted against a former colleague turned leader of a terrorist cell. Skip Wiley, the crazed ringleader, wants to return Florida to the Seminoles and everglades by driving tourists out through terror.

It's lightweight, of course, but it’s certainly amusing, has colorful characters and, with its sharp satire of everything from tourism to race relations to the newsroom, makes high entertainment
I know I enjoyed this book a lot more the last time I read it. I was looking for something light so grabbed this. I thought Icould count on Hiassen to bring his quirky characters in South Florida to life. It turns out this was his first book and it's a lot grittier than his others. Gruesome details of murders. I'm glad he went lighter in his later books.

Another reason I was not happy with was that the story was about a band of terrorists, killing randomly to get attention. Sadly, on the heels o
Apr 26, 2008 Sarah rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
One of Carl Hiaasen's best! After strange disappearences and an amputated man in a suitcase shows up, Brian Keyes, private investigator, is intrigued. He and his cop buddy, Al Garcia, get on the case of Los Noches de Deciembre (The nights of December)who are environmental activists gone bad. After a string of murders from the Los Noches de Deciembre, Brian Keyes discovers there will be a grand finale-- which includes a girl he's been crushing on. Twists keep this book fluid and suspenseful, maki ...more
Rex Fuller
Sep 21, 2013 Rex Fuller rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
My first Hiaasen, picked because it was his first. Admittedly, I expected more lunacy than poignancy. And yes, it is funny, but surprise!, tender too. Looks like the original plan was to lament destruction of Florida’s natural environment by satirizing the whole mess. And it went a good ways toward the plan, but the wounds being too sensitive, it simply cried out in the end, “Even crazy people have feelings.”
The loonies–or are they?–bent on scaring people away from Florida in order to save it,
Ian Bowman
Feb 22, 2015 Ian Bowman rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Written in the 80s. Takes place in Miami. Main character is a Private Investigator.

It's tempting to say, "Nuff said," but that's not totally it. Carl Hiassen has a unique writing style that is heavy on witty dialogue (and now that I think of it... much like Raymond Chandler). On the dialogue alone, I feel like this work would lend itself well to a theater production. But in addition, Carl Hiaasen's descriptions of both characters and setting are colorful and stimulating. I love the vocabulary h
Addison Coniglio
Absolutely amazing. Once again, perfect illustration within the text. It feels as if you are sitting along Brian Keyes as the story pans out. I can now safely say I have cruised Key Biscayne, ran red lights down Collins Blvd, and felt the crushed coral under my feet on Osprey Island. Carls background in journalism had been the perfect prerequisite for this masterpiece. Brian Keyes must have been some sort of a reflection of a romantic side of Carls self, and Skip Wiley the hotshot villain of the ...more
Feb 02, 2016 Debbie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed this book by a new to me author. I had trouble putting it down and I didn't see the ending coming as it did. I will be reading more of Carl's books.
Alan Widdows
Mar 12, 2017 Alan Widdows rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I think I've read enough of Carl Hiaasen's books (three in the last three weeks) for now. This one's a newspaper reporter-turned-private-detective story with his usual sad underlying theme of greed in modern Florida. A little darker, a little more serious, than most of his books but still a good read. I laughed out loud at some passages. He's cynical but couches his messages of creeping doom with really funny bits.
Jul 03, 2014 Matthew rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: thriller
Carl Hiaasen's "Tourist Season" is the quintessential debut novel.

The reader sees it in every sentence, every chapter, every plot contrivance.

Hiaasen starts with an interesting premise and uses it to address contemporary issues. His targets: consumerism, environmental degradation, overpopulation, political corruption, pollution and racism.

It's nothing groundbreaking. However, there's a good to great novel in there.

Hiaasen isn't the author to find it though. It's overlong and overwritten. The ch
Jan 06, 2009 Janelle rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Carl Hiaasen's works are usually very funny, intelligent, witty, creative, with a happy ending. What could you want more from an entertaining lite read? The imaginative characters, the adventure, the great use of irony and sarcasm, he keeps you guessing how things could possibly all work out for the best, and they do in his books which I like. I always find good qualities to admire in his heros, and can easily despise the villians, cheering when they meet their whatever creative fash ...more
Richard Hemingway
Frankly I was bored with this novel for the first four chapters. Eventually I started to understand the story line and it became a can't put down type of novel. The main idea of the novel is that tourists and those who go from tourist to homeowners can inspire real estate people to wreck havoc on the environment as they try to make a fast buck. The villians in this novel are basically people who want to protect nature from those who want to destroy it. Their solutions, are what makes this an int ...more
Nov 27, 2012 Bill rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, comedy
I've been nibbling away at Hiassen's output off and on for several years. At a recent book sale, I happened upon several titles I hadn't read, including this one. It's not his first publication - nor is it his best - but it is funny and violent. Few people can make violence funny - Hiassen does it very well, indeed. Read other reviews for the story line but do pick this up and read it if you enjoy dark humor, smart satire and poking fun at savagely stereotypical characters, good and bad. South F ...more
Jun 16, 2012 Karni rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Interesting mystery novel, written with lots of humor. The story is about a group of terrorists trying to return Florida to it's original inhabitants: Indians and animals. The author is partially empathetic to the cause, occasionally portraying the greedy American businessmen as the villains rather than the terrorists.

On top of regular mystery novel ingredients (good guys, bad guys and the battles between them), the story describes an intricate relationship between the media and the police depar
Cat Ellington
Jan 01, 2017 Cat Ellington rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This one is typical Carl Hiaasen: wonderfully written; great plot; classic page-turner; funny as only a novel by Hiaasen can be.

I truly enjoyed Tourist Season. And I hated for it to end. The ending was quite touching, but I'm no spoiler. How is it though, that Hiaasen has this great way of making his readers feel so much sympathy for even the cruelest and most loathsome of his characters? It's amazing.

I highly recommend this entertaining caper to anyone looking for a great, fun-filled, and hil
Feb 01, 2008 James rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Florida fiction readers
A team of unlikely misfits make for some serious humor in what many Florida natives probably secretly dream about, doing away with the tourists. I found myself actually laughing out loud with Hiaasen's sharp and witty humor. The schemes of the antagonists to poetically do-in the tourist market for Southern Florida were quite inventive. Let me just say, part of me was rooting for the alligator. Tourist Season being the first Hiaasen I read I was not at all disappointed. In fact it was quite the o ...more
I started buying Hiaasen books from charity shops because these are the books that inspired Brookmyre. And i can totally see it. It's funny and witty, and it has crime. I couldn't like this book as much as any Brookmyre, though. And that's because it's American. If the spellings hadn't've annoyed me, the references-i-don't-get would have. Also, Brookmyre's characters are ten times better. I cared for no one in the book. But still enjoyable overall nonetheless.
This was a bit of a mixed bag. I think I like the first half, and am not really keen on the second. The only times I laughed were in the first hundred pages or so. Then it definitely tapered off. The ending itself wasn't too bad, but after being pretty much disinterested for the last fifty or more pages, it didn't have the impact that it could have.
Jul 12, 2012 Milka rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
After reading several of Hiaasen's books that are more directly at the younger crowd, I decided to try several of his adult novels, including his now "classic" tourist season. This book was highly entertaining, funny, gross, gruesome, and a good description of what has been happening to Florida (and many other areas of the US) in the past 100 years. A good read overall.
Mar 07, 2009 Charly rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone
An earlier work by Hiaasen than some I have read before. Perhaps a bit less humorous than some of the later works but the screw up bad guys are out in force. He has a marvelous way of developing characters that border on the absurd.
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Carl Hiaasen was born and raised in Florida. After graduating from the University of Florida, he began writing for the Miami Herald. As a journalist and author, Carl has spend most of his life advocating the protection of the Florida Everglades. He and his family still live in southern Florida.
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“As for Dr. Remond Courtney, his golf swing was so unusual that from a distance he appeared to be beating a snake to death. It was a very violent golf swing for a psychiatrist. He managed an eight on the first hole and still won it by two strokes.” 0 likes
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