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Tourist Season

3.95 of 5 stars 3.95  ·  rating details  ·  11,149 ratings  ·  449 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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Stormy Weather by Carl HiaasenTourist Season by Carl HiaasenThe Deep Blue Good-By by John D. MacDonaldBasket Case by Carl HiaasenThe Designated Survivor by J.C. Gatlin
Florida Mystery/Thrillers
2nd out of 117 books — 55 voters
The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas AdamsGood Omens by Terry PratchettLamb by Christopher MooreMe Talk Pretty One Day by David SedarisThe Princess Bride by William Goldman
Best Humorous Books
258th out of 2,471 books — 4,827 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Apr 28, 2014 Jeff rated it 3 of 5 stars
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...more
David "proud member of 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 explor...more
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...more
aPriL loves HalLowEen
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...more
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
Tom Croom
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...more
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...more
Rex Fuller
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,...more
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...more
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
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
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
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
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...more
Feb 05, 2008 James rated it 5 of 5 stars
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
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...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.
A solid first book by Crazy Carl. An eclectic band of terrorists sets out to rid southern florida of people. They plan to do this by scaring people away, in particular tourists. The outcast of an anti-fidel, former Dolphins RB, and psychotic newspaper columnist pull of some impressive kidnappings and creative murders, but are eventually thwarted by a crafty PI and his friends in the police and at the paper.

This was exactly what I expected, and why I like Hiaasen. It was funny and had some intrig...more
Kara Prem
rian Keyes, a former newspaper reporter is now working as a private eye, and he's been hired to prove the innocence of a suspect in the rather bizarre murder of the president of the Miami Chamber of Commerce. Keyes believes that his client is innocent, and discovers that the murder may be tied to the disappearance of a visiting Shriner. Then other tourists and snow birds begin disappearing. There is a local terrorist group, the Nights of December, aka "The Nachos" who are claiming responsibility...more
Matthew Stewart
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...more
Aug 31, 2009 Charly rated it 4 of 5 stars
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.
Michael Redd
I am glad I took the salespersons advise at Barnes and Noble. She said the author was comical and easy to read.

Boy, was she right...The cashier even said I would enjoy it. I am not going to give anything away, but suffice to say each character had their own quirks.

I highly recommend this to all my friends who read Vince Flynn, David Baldacci and Michael Connelly - as intense as some of the scenes are in their books, Carl Hiaasen is as lighthearted. Yes, there is suspense and intrigue, but he wr...more
Hiaasen's books never disappoint his readers. He combines a wacky cast of characters (some wise, but all flawed in marvelous, recognizable ways), a fast-paced plot, a deep knowledge of Florida ecology (and the damage done my schemers) and produces a wise, funny, page-turner of a book. He does it time and time again, but it never feels formulaic.

In "Tourist Season," Hiassen introduces a smart and clever teenage beauty queen, her conniving father (his cupidity is endless), a burned-out reporter t...more
Hiassen is a fun read always!
My fling with Hiaasen was brief. Ultra brief. One and done brief. I read Skin Tight earlier this year and liked it, but this one just did not do it for me. Why? Well...

1. For full disclosure, I am sure I was in a better mood when I read the first book. I'm in a funk lately and it's taking a lot to hold my interest right now.

2. This book felt twice as long as Skin Tight. Looking back, I'm shocked to see it's shorter. It just dragged and dragged and took me forever to get through. I almost didn't...more
Kara Jorges
We enter the zany world of the Florida crime novel at its inception with this Carl Hiaasen debut. In later works by Hiaasen, Leonard, Dorsey, and others, there is a sly world-weariness, a black humor tickled by the far-gone condition of the South Florida mentality. This book was written on the cusp of the cynical hilarity to follow.

Tourist Season begins when a typical tourist, an aging Shriner, disappears off a beach. Next, the body of a prominent Miami man is found stuffed in a suitcase, covere...more
Roger Lansing
This was the first Carl Hiassen book that I ever read and it hooked me immediately. At the time that I read this, I was in-between full-time jobs and was working as an outreach coordinator for a public home-heating assistance program. In that job, I was required to travel to various locations throughout my home county and meet with people to assist them in signing up for governmental home-heating assistance money. There were times when I was sitting alone in a public building for hours. I learne...more
This gets my vote as Hiaasen's best. It's one of his earliest and it has a passion and originality that I love. And it is so outrageously funny! The plot is convoluted and preposterous, a world only Hiassen can imagine, although he has said that many of his plot episodes come straight from the seriously wacky news in Florida. Apparently he has great subject matter there. The title Tourist Season, I realized soon after beginning it, is a play on words--Tourist Season when all the sun-loving visit...more
This comedy was published in 1987, but it is based on a modern day premise of over-development. Popular Miami journalist Skip Wiley has formed his own band of terrorists to take back South Florida from the rich developers and Yankee tourists. He has an elderly Native American, an ex-pro football player, and a Cuban revolutionary with faulty bomb making skills to help him fight his cause. There is no one safe from their special brand of terror.

Brian Keyes is a journalist turned private detective...more
Bob Stocker
Tourist Season by Carl Hiaasen has a little of everything: seemingly pointless murders, inept newspaper reporters, crusty police detectives, egotistical columnists, eco-terrorists, beautiful women, fezzed Shriners, negligent lawyers, vengeful Seminoles, washed up ex-football players, and shallow tourism promoters all woven into a bizarre plot that is sometimes satirical, sometimes farcical, and sometimes gruesome.

A curious and probably unintended aspect of the book is occasional reference to te...more
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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 southern Florida.
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