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Sick Puppy (Skink #4)

3.88  ·  Rating details ·  20,191 Ratings  ·  1,095 Reviews
When Palmer Stoat notices the black pickup truck following him on the highway, he fears his precious Range Rover is about to be carjacked. But Twilly Spree, the man tailing Stoat, has vengeance, not sport-utility vehicles, on his mind. Idealistic, independently wealthy and pathologically short-tempered, Twilly has dedicated himself to saving Florida's wilderness from runaw ...more
Paperback, 450 pages
Published May 1st 2001 by Pan MacMillan (first published January 4th 2000)
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james It is very funny and pointed, as are most of Hiaasen's books. There is also an incredibly sad but beautiful passage that describes what one of the…moreIt is very funny and pointed, as are most of Hiaasen's books. There is also an incredibly sad but beautiful passage that describes what one of the characters finds as he looks for a specific piece of roadkill that has stayed with me 10 years after reading it. (less)
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Community Reviews

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Rating details
Sort: Default
May 21, 2007 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: received-as-gift
This book is about a hundred pages too long and is a poorly developed story about an unstable environmentalist that stalks an asshole lobbyist/exotic game hunter because he saw him toss trash out the window of his car. The most frustrating thing about this book is that it has potential to turn into an interesting story, but it moves in a bunch of roundabout directions and never delivers. Worst of all, it seems like the author wanted to use every strange character he had ever developed in one boo ...more
Scott Rhee
Carl Hiaasen is a literary comic genius, a Samuel Clemens for our day, as evident in his hilarious book "Sick Puppy", but to say that his books are simply entertaining is to miss the point. He's writing primarily about Florida, a state which no one should have to actually live in, due to the number of ridiculously insane people that inhabit it, most of whom are politicians, elderly retirees, immigrants, or criminals. Hiaasen takes aim at everyone: Republican or Democrat, young or old, rich or po ...more
Jun 15, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: ridiculous people like me
Shelves: hilarious
man. this book made me laugh. hiaasen is friggin hilarious. the book has crazy floridian creeps causing eco-mistakes. the main character simply doesn't like it. picture an entire truck load of dung beetles being dumped onto your fancy SUV because you threw a mcdonalds wrapper out your window. and Skink, the vagabond with good teeth, gives me the smiles. just - if you are wanting to laugh, this is it. so silly. and there is always a good message about development destroying the world and whatnot. ...more
Sep 10, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: People with endearing temper problems.
Shelves: fiction
One of the funniest books I've ever read. What enjoyable, escapist fiction should be. Twilly Spree is a character Joseph Heller would have been proud of, a hero in anger management classes, and his exploits are so absurd that they are only believable because they take place in the state of insanity known as "Florida". Absolutely fun and all that good, escapist fiction should be.


3.5 stars

Despoilers of Florida's beauty better beware of Twilly Spree, a (slightly nuts) twenty-something, self-styled environmentalist. Twilly has already blown up his uncle's bank for loaning money to an unethical rock-mining company so he's not beyond a little retribution when he sees someone throwing trash onto a Florida highway. The 'someone' happens to be lobbyist Palmer Stoat, who - in addition to being a litterbug - 'hunts' exotic game in the local Wilderness Veldt Plantation that import
Jul 13, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I laughed and laughed at this story. It's actually filled with so many characters who could be thought of as sick puppies, it's hard to decide who the title refers to! There's lobbyist Palmer Stoat, who loves nothing better than killing big game at his favorite big game killing establishment, which is oddly reminiscent of a theme park. There's Twilly Spree, good-intentioned though somewhat neurotic eco-terrorist. There's ex-Florida governor Clinton "Skink" Tyree, one of the scariest characters I ...more
Book Concierge
Twilly Spree is a trust-fund baby and eco-terrorist with some anger-management issues. When he witnesses blatant littering by the driver of a Range Rover with vanity plates, he is compelled to teach the litterbug a lesson. Within a few pages the reader is immersed in the usual Hiaasen scenario featuring a dog-napping and peopled with corrupt Florida politicians and ruthless developers; among the characters here are a former Toyota salesman who is now governor, a hunt-trophy-happy lobbyist, a mil ...more
aPriL does feral sometimes
'Sick Puppy', book four in the Skink series, is overrun with the usual odd, oblivious and obscene characters who populate Carl Hiaasen's Florida. Land developers are littering the landscape with ludicrous destruction.

Clinton Tyree, aka Skink, ex-governor of Florida and slightly insane, is once again drawn out of his Everglades home to involve himself in an affair between an alliance of greedy real estate developers and perverted politicians struggling to pave over an undeveloped Florida island,
Paul Pessolano
Aug 22, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
“Sick Puppy” by Carl Hiaasen, published by Alfred A. Knopf.

Category – Mystery/Humor Publication Date – February, 2000.

How can one resist a good mystery/humor novel that has a dog, not only a dog but a Labrador retriever, as one of its characters. Hiaasen has again put together a book that takes a look at the corrupt politics of Florida that is driven by a greed for ocean front property and litter bugs.

The characters, again, are outrageous. You have the former Governor of Florida, Clinton Tyree,
Mar 30, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I love Carl Hiaasen. I am not a big mystery/thriller person and his stuff is great! His characters are OTT and at the same time so very human and in this instance humane. How can you not love a man who would chase down an idiot for throwing trash out of his car doing 80 on the freeway?!?! Twilly Spree is my hero. With Hiaasen you just never know where you will wind up - except that it will be in Florida, that much you know.
Jun 06, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Okay. I'll concede that there are oversimplifications in this book. The bad guys are irredeemably bad; the good guys are little better than the bad guys. That's true of most of us, isn't it? The destruction of habitat for condos is a central Hiaasen theme, so don't get your Speedos in a wad. The characters are too wild and crazy to believe? Have you ever spent time in Florida? Every nutjob who isn't on a survivalist ranch in Idaho picks up their mail in Florida (it used to be California before l ...more
Aug 11, 2009 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2009
I haven't read any Carl Hiaasen in about ten years. It's worth saying that based on his first 5 books, his investigative reporting and the fact that he once appeared on IN SEARCH OF alongside Leonard Frickin' Nimoy, I regard Hiaasen as a genius to be spoken of in hallowed tones. I will now proceed to speak of him in tones more harsh than hallowed, even though I still think he's one of America's greatest writers and one of the top 10,443 crime novelists in god damned South Florida; since they all ...more
Aug 30, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
You gotta love a dog story and especially one which nails the essence of a dog as well as Carl Hiaansen’s Sick Puppy. It is clear that Hiaansen has been around his share of dogs with descriptions such as this:

“That’s the thing about being a Labrador retriever--you were born for fun. Seldom was your loopy, freewheeling mind cluttered by contemplation, and never at all by somber worry; every day was a romp. What else could there possibly be to life? Eating was a thrill.......And everywhere you wen
"Sick Puppy" is a novel about greedy politicians and builders who are destroying Florida's beauty. It's packed with colorful characters and wacky incidents.

Twilly Spree is a wealthy environmentalist who is trying to stop a development from bulldozing the trees and killing the animals on a Florida island. The project is designed to enrich a builder who contributed to the governor's campaign, as well as benefiting a lobyest who is trying to set up the deal.

The characters are richly drawn and easy
Jul 26, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: literature, humor
I don't even like dogs, but I liked this book a lot. Fortunately, I guessed that the sick puppy of the title referred to one of the characters and boy, was I right. In fact, it could refer to almost any one of the characters. They are all sick puppies. Glad I don't know any of these people in real life, but they are all so much fun to read about. I read one other good book by Hiaasen, I think it was Double Whammy, but Sick Puppy is even better.

This would be a good book to give someone who is re
John Gustafson
Sick Puppy is my introduction to Carl Hiaasen, an author that my girlfriend felt would be a good way to get me introduced to Florida. I'll probably read him again, although I found this book to be one of diminishing returns. It starts out as a satisfying read; Twilly Spree is a maladjusted and overgrown trust fund kid who gets to live out a popular revenge fantasy: he spots a litterbug on the Florida highway and decides to spend as much time and energy as possible to teach the litterbug a lesson ...more
Mar 31, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
When Twilly Spree, an environmental terrorist and financially independent, sees Palmer Stoat throw trash out of his car window on the freeway, he is on his tail seeking revenge. Stoat is a political fixer involved with all sorts of characters: Dick Artemus, ex-car salesman, now governor; Robert Clapley, a crooked land developer with an unhealthy interest in Barbie dolls; and his goon, Mr. Gash, who plays his favorite 911 compilations in the tape deck.

Twilly, after filling Stoat's car with dung b
Terri Powers
Ok, I read it. Read the whole thing. Was this my favorite Carl Hiaasen book? No, but it was an entertaining read. The characters are:

Palmer Stoat – an obsessive/compulsive type prone to littering rather than having the offending item on his possession, Stoat is a cocksure deal maker in the middle of the Florida political arena.

Desie Stoat – young, beautiful, and unlucky with men. She is wife number three and wondering how or why she was still hanging around.

Twilly Spree – to say Twilly is a hero
Feb 24, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Florida novels - When young ecoterrorist Twilly Spree begins a campaign of sabotage against a litterbug named Palmer Stoat, he gets much more than he bargained for. Stoat is a political fixer, involved with a bevy of shady types: Dick Artemus, ex-car salesman, now governor; Robert Clapley, a crooked land developer with an unhealthy interest in Barbie dolls; and his business expediter, Mr. Gash, a permed reptilian thug with ghastly musical tastes. After a wave of preemptive strikes centered on a ...more
Jun 14, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Sick Puppy is my first book by Hiaasen and I will probably read others. Sick Puppy is, I suspect, typical of most of his books: an entertaining conflict between really bad guys and one or more idiosyncratic good guys. The characters are unapologetic caricatures with just enough resemblance to real people to keep me interested.

In Sick Puppy one of the evil ones is a lobbyist who gets paid to clear the way for rich guys who want to get richer by using politicians to help them rip off the public a
J.T. Therrien
Jun 10, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Laugh out loud funny!

The best reason I enjoy reading Carl Hiaasen novels is because I will never be able to conceive of plots (and characters) such as his.

In Sick Puppy he has... let me see if I can recall most of these characters: a prostitute whose clients are Republicans, a self-sufficient eco-terrorist, a slob lobbyist/big game hunter, a rogue former Florida Governor, a killer with a 9-1-1 call fetish (among several other fetishes), a black Labrador (one of the Sick Puppies alluded to in the
May 03, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Carl Hiaasen is a master of sentence, character and humor of the absurd.

Case in point, this little bit taken from Sick Puppy:

"The killer had a vain streak when it came to his physique. He was driven to take measures that artificially streamlined his midsection, which in recent years had shown signs of incipient tubbiness--an unnerving development that Mr. Gash bitterly blamed on the dull sedentary life of a a hit man. It was an occupation that neither required nor allowed much physical exercise
Jul 26, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a very very fun read. I was thoroughly entertained. It's a satirical look at politicians and life in Florida. One of my favorite characters is a champion of the environment. Twilly is seemingly a sociopath who gets very irritated by any that would take for granted Florida's beautiful wetlands and coasts. He loves to teach lessons to litterbugs and will stop at nothing to get his point across. All of the characters are heavily flawed and the situations they find themselves in are absurd. ...more
Sep 29, 2007 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: novels
This book was pretty funny but also rather gross. The very interesting descriptions of people we imagine exist (the wealthy conservative game-hunting politician with a trophy wife; the psychotic, environmental terrorist with an anger management problem, etc.) made for an outrageous and dark comedy. Still, something about the book didn't feel good to me.

Maybe I'm just too serious, but reading about people this dysfunctional and the havoc they wreak on each other and the world around them just lea
D.L. Williams
Mar 24, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Sick Puppy: another great read from Carl Hiaasen. Wonderful, quirky, Florida characters. This main character is another that wants to save Florida from litterbugs and land barons. He kidnaps a dog, doesn’t kidnap someones wife (she goes along on her own) and is matched up with an ex-Governer who has gone wild and lives in the wild swamps. Great fun, great writer.
Aug 09, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Gotta love a book with a dog as a central character. The book is highly amusing and paints an interesting picture of Florida's politics.
Sep 19, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mysteries
Hiaasen is one of my long-time fav's... started reading because of the Florida connection and fell in love with his characters...
Jan 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Huge fan of Carl. Haven't read a book by him yet that didn't make me laugh and cringe at the same time. Brilliant
Apr 06, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was not Carl Hiaasen's best book, but it was still fun. Twilly Spree is the hero of this one. He is a eco-warrior with anger management issues. He has a habit of going after litterbugs and making sure they get the message of how bad it is to harm the environment or animals. State lobbyist Palmer Stoat captures his attention as he litters on the Florida highway. Twilly's attempts to go after Stoat set him in the middle of a scheme in which Stoat is working with the governor Dick Artemus and ...more
Mar 06, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
As usual, Mr. Hiaasen is writing about a quirky set of south Florida characters, centred around Miami, Homestead and the Keys. If it wasn't so funny, this might be a sad, didactic tale about the ruination of Florida and all the greed that has contributed to over developing a fragile ecosystem. But it's not - like most of his stuff, it's about crazy events, described in a tongue-in-cheek style. However, it still allows one a thoughtful glimpse of the underlying tragedy that I believe he sees in t ...more
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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.
More about Carl Hiaasen...

Other Books in the Series

Skink (7 books)
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“as a lobbyist he had long ago concluded there was no difference in how Democrats and Republicans conducted the business of government. The game stayed the same: It was always about favors and friends, and who controlled the dough. Party labels were merely a way to keep track of the teams; issues were mostly smoke and vaudeville. Nobody believed in anything except hanging on to power, whatever it took. .....” 15 likes
“...Right now there's a pair of bad cops on their way out here to shoot me."
"You don't know that."
"Yeah, you're right," Stranahan said. "They're probably just collecting Toys for Tots. Now go.”
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