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Tourist Season

3.95  ·  Rating details ·  15,758 Ratings  ·  689 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 Warner Books (NY) (first published 1986)
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Mar 11, 2017 rated it really liked it
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 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
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 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 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: un-put-down-able, usa
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.
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.
Oct 08, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Elmore Leonard enthusiasts
Recommended to Still by: Picked this up back in the 80s due to Elmore Leonard comparisons by reviewers.

100 pages too long.
Attempted aping of Elmore Leonard's style but enjoyable - the humor is a bit forced but it's a nice enough page-turner.

I'm in the process of re-reading my Carl Hiaasen novels.
This is the 2nd time I've read this book. Originally read it back in the 80s.
Can't recommend this to anyone who's not an Elmore Leonard fan but I would be the last person to discourage anyone from reading Hiaasen.
Tom Croom
Dec 01, 2010 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
Matthew Stechel
Oct 29, 2013 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
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
Nov 02, 2010 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
Jul 29, 2010 rated it really liked it
This Carl Hiaasen hit home with the glimpses of the newsroom and the megalomaniac personalities that tend to brew there when left to fester for too long. Frightening because it's all too believable, and the madman sounds remarkably sane at times. It becomes difficult not to feel sympathetic toward him at moments, and wonder if in some cases his extremes are warranted. Hiaasen makes you feel for each of his characters in this one, the random victims and the confused ecoterrorists, on an everyman ...more
Apr 26, 2008 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
Apr 07, 2018 rated it really liked it
Carl Hiaasen's writing mixes in enough humor to make the implausible parts of the plot work. It's an off kilter world where that's ok. This book turned out to be his first. Like the other book I read by him recently it takes place in southern Florida and is centered around the idea that a tropical paradise has been been invaded by land developers and tourists and some people are extremely angered by this. They will go to extremes to make their point and in Hiaasen's world this leads to a very en ...more
Rex Fuller
Sep 21, 2013 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,
Ian Bowman
Feb 22, 2015 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
Addison Coniglio
Feb 04, 2013 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 02, 2016 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.
Aug 21, 2017 rated it really liked it
I would give any book I've read by Hiaasen 4 stars if not more though this one was more like 3 and 3/4. This is an earlier book of his comedic/criminal/environmental genre and he did get better as he went along. Still, this book had good laughs, lots of irony, pathos, tragedy, crime and mayhem which if you're a Hiaasen fan you know is his forte.

Hiaasen shares his knowledge of the workings of newspaper and fills the story with characters that are bigger than life but quite believable. Whether it
Mar 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A PR man for the Florida Chamber of Commerce and a random assortment of tourists and residents are murdered by Las Noches di Diciembre, a group that wants to return Florida to its original state. They hope to create enough fear that it drives people out. An ex reporter and now private investigator is the primary person who is trying to uncover the radical group and stop the bloodshed.

This was the first book written solely by Mr. Hiaasen in 1986. Many of his books highlight southern Florida and t
Oct 02, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I don't think I clicked with Hiaasen's sense of humor. I can see the potential in the story and the plotline was interesting. I just didn't get along with the execution of the plot. Most parts seemed to drag on and I was waiting forever for the "big event". I didn't like any of the characters, and there weren't even any characters that I loved to hate. I can see how this book would appeal to fans; I just think it didn't match my reading style. The reason I gave this book 3 stars instead of a low ...more
Marius Molis
Feb 25, 2018 rated it really liked it
Easy to read , catching storyline , had good laugh couple of times :D
Feb 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: e-book, fiction, mystery
As someone who grew up in South Florida--and has been to numerous Orange Bowl parades as a kid--I've run across each & every character Hiaasen 'created' here & truly enjoyed this book. It's just laugh out loud funny!! (How many people do you know who'd use a crocodile as a murder weapon?!?) This book is escapism at it's best.
Mar 12, 2017 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.
Bryan Schmidt
Feb 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A great solo debut with great characters and use of setting, suspense mixed with humor and plenty of twists. Highly recommended.
Jul 03, 2014 rated it it was ok
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 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
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The Ending 2 42 Aug 01, 2013 06:52AM  
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Carl Hiaasen was born and raised in Florida. After graduating from the University of Florida, he joined the Miami Herald as a general assignment reporter and went on to work for the newspaper’s weekly magazine and prize-winning investigations team. As a journalist and author, Carl has spent most of his life advocating for the protection of the Florida Everglades. He and his family live in southern ...more
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“Mr. B. D. Harper’s death was a milestone. It may have seemed an atrocity to you; to us, it was poetry. Contrary to what you’d like to believe, this was not the act of a sick person, but the raging of a powerful new underclass. Mr. Harper’s death was not a painful one, but it was unusual, and we trust that it got your attention. Soon we start playing for keeps. Wait for number three! El Fuego, Comandante, Las Noches de Diciembre” 0 likes
“Cab Mulcahy poured the coffee. Skip Wiley drank.” 0 likes
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