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Tourist Season

3.95  ·  Rating Details  ·  13,780 Ratings  ·  558 Reviews
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, must move from muckraking to rooting out murder, in a caper that will mix footb ...more
Paperback, 404 pages
Published May 9th 2005 by Grand Central Publishing (first published 1986)
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The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas AdamsGood Omens by Terry PratchettLamb by Christopher MooreThe Princess Bride by William GoldmanMe Talk Pretty One Day by David Sedaris
Best Humorous Books
286th out of 3,228 books — 6,342 voters
Stormy Weather by Carl HiaasenTourist Season by Carl HiaasenThe Deep Blue Good-By by John D. MacDonaldBasket Case by Carl HiaasenSkinny Dip by Carl Hiaasen
Florida Mystery/Thrillers
2nd out of 145 books — 78 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Apr 28, 2014 Jeff rated it liked it
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
Jul 11, 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
Jun 22, 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
Tom Croom
Dec 03, 2010 Tom Croom rated it really liked it
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
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
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
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
Ian Bowman
Mar 14, 2015 Ian Bowman rated it it was amazing
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
Dec 23, 2011 Ensiform rated it really liked it
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
Addison Coniglio
May 31, 2013 Addison Coniglio rated it it was amazing
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 10, 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.
Rex Fuller
Sep 25, 2013 Rex Fuller rated it really liked it
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,
Matthew Stechel
Oct 30, 2013 Matthew Stechel rated it it was ok
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
Jul 08, 2014 Matthew rated it it was ok
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
Dec 10, 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
Richard Hemingway
Jul 11, 2011 Richard Hemingway rated it liked it
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
Jun 16, 2012 Karni rated it really liked it
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
Feb 05, 2008 James rated it it was amazing
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
Jul 22, 2016 Kenny rated it really liked it
Well now.

This is the first of two Hiaasen gems I found recently (thrift store score out the door!) and rapidly devoured.

The hilarity continues, or rather, it seems THIS is where it all started! Turns out this is the first solo novel by the author, and I can see the refinement of his style as a writer over time, and specifically his voice and mastery of all that is goofily (in)appropriate in his tales of murder, mirth, crime, and comedy.

I have read primarily his newer/newish books, maybe 5 or 6
Jun 28, 2016 Kyle rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery
If you're looking for a dusty old paperback to stuff in your duffel bag for the beach this summer, this has got to be it. Hiaasen has crafted a clever whodunnit littered with humour that (to borrow an old cliche) will keep you frantically turning pages.

At the heart of Tourist Season is a ragtag group of terrorists known as Las Noches de Diciembre (often butchered to Las Nachos by the Anglo-led media and chamber of commerce) who are determined to put an end to the rampant tourism and migration ru
Feb 17, 2016 Brian rated it it was ok
"Tourist Season" is an early Hiaasen novel, and it shows. It lacks some of the subtleties and clever plot devices of some of his more mature works. However, the environmental message (a constant in Hiaasen's books) is more muted than his more recent efforts. I appreciate that as it makes the text less preachy and smug.
This book is an enjoyable read, but not quite as quick a read as most of his others. It starts off well, and then slows down, eventually ending with a weak fizz of a climax.
For avi
Jan 19, 2016 Olivermagnus rated it liked it

Tourist Season is a caper about an amateur terrorist organization that wants to end the tourist industry that is ruining Florida. When the president of the Miami Chamber of Commerce is found dead inside a suitcase with his legs amputated and a rubber alligator stuffed down his throat, police and newspaper reporters prefer to believe it's simply another South Florida crime. Soon, other tourists begin disappearing. The police determine there's no connection and it's not too important. This frustra
P.J. Lazos
Nov 14, 2015 P.J. Lazos rated it it was amazing
Some people want to save the earth with science, others want to spread the word with heartbreakingly beautiful depictions of the natural world in all her glory, and then there are those who would throw the planet a buoy bobbing along on humor. Carl Hiaasen falls in the latter category. Satire is everywhere in his breakout solo novel, Tourist Season, and in every one of the 12 adult novels he’s written since. His Young Adult fiction has age appropriate satire, but Hiaasen knows the adolescents ge ...more
Mar 17, 2015 Aaron rated it really liked it
Quirky characters and ecoterrorism come to the fore with this novel by Carl Hiaasen. Former newspaper reporter turned private investigator Brian Keyes finds himself pulled into a case involving the abduction and murder of a number of tourists in Miami during December.

It all starts with the death of a Shriner at the beach, and before long the body count quickly starts climbing. The clues are limited, and it isn't helped as Miami and Florida officials seem to do everything they can to limit publi
Jan 19, 2015 Tim rated it it was ok
This was for the most part an enjoyable audiobook experience (read by George Wilson for Nothing too deep or challenging here, but a certain boldness, sassiness, and humor keep things moving along in a good direction. Hiaasen, a newspaper columnist, has the same strengths and weaknesses that most newspaper writers have – he is good with a quip or a discussion of some salient facts pertaining to a situation, but he is a little weak when it comes to really understanding somethin ...more
Oct 18, 2014 Dale rated it liked it
Relentlessly violent screwball book.

This is my first Carl Hiassen book. It is also Hiaasen's first book as a solo author. Hiassen goes for over-the-top funny, much like Elmore Leonard and Dave Barry. but, in the end it wore me down rather than keeping me intrigued.

The premise of the book is that a Miami-based newspaper columnist is sick of all of the development in and around Miami and the Everglades so he decides to start a campaign of terrorism to scare away the tourists and to discourage mor
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.
Charles Adkinson
I enjoyed this book, and my star system is based on the pop-up text goodreads gives me when I hover over a rating. 3 stars equals "liked it." It was better than "it was ok" and I'm not willing to go so far as to say "really liked it." But even so, 3 stars feel generous.

Going into it I don't know what I expected. Judging by the cover art (on this and other versions) as well as the general way that Hiaasen's books seem to be marketed (this is my first by him), I should have been fully prepared fo
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The Ending 2 41 Aug 01, 2013 06:52AM  
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Carl Hiaasen was born and raised in Florida, where he still lives with his family. 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
“and the Chamber of Commerce was handing out cyanide capsules.” 0 likes
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