cover image Dance of the Reptiles: Selected Columns

Dance of the Reptiles: Selected Columns

Carl Hiaasen. Vintage, $15.95 trade paper (416p) ISBN 978-0-345-80702-1

Throughout his prolific career writing mysteries and young adult novels, Hiaasen (Bad Monkey) has continued to write straight journalism for the Miami Herald, in a weekly op-ed column exploring the weird scenes of Florida in general and Miami in particular. This selection from the more than 600 columns written during the 12 years since the publication of Paradise Screwed, Hiaasen’s second collection of newspaper work, will be immediately popular with his fans. The topics are familiar: “rampaging” visitors, for whom prescribes a special “Tourist Court”; the abuse and neglect of Florida’s waters; “the disastrous culmination of generations of lousy planning, worse management, and slimy politics”; and how government and business have made Florida “the poster child for America’s fiscal disintegration.” But a section of powerful essays on the Iraq war—especially the “daffy, disconnected mind of Dick Cheney”—show a deep anger about national politics that moves beyond his typical attitude of, “Of course it’s Miami. Where else?” (Jan.)