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Book Review: Sick Puppy

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Carl Hiaasen is a weird, sick, hilarious guy and his new novel, Sick Puppy, is aptly titled.

The hero of Sick Puppy is Twilly Spree, a rich, weird young man who is so passionate about doing right that he often does, well, wrong.

So when he sees rich Florida lobbyist Palmer Stout littering while driving, Spree thinks nothing of putting dung beetles in Stout’s car. And when he realizes that Stout is involved in plans to turn a wilderness island into a residential development Spree gets even more pissed and kidnaps Stout’s dog, Boodle.

Yes, Spree is one sick puppy.

But he’s also an appealing character who is just outraged at how people treat animals and the environment.

And so when Stout’s wife, sick of her husband’s obsessions with cigars and taking polaroids of the two of them having sex, gets to know Spree she has an unusual request: She wants to be kidnapped too. And off the book goes in many wacky directions at once.

Some of the book’s characters are new, including a prostitute who only has sex with Republicans, and a male lobbyist who has an obsession with Barbie dolls. But others are recurring from earlier Hiaasen masterpieces.

A former Florida governor named Skink, who now lives in the woods, is blackmailed by the present governor and forced to try to track down and catch Spree. This despite Spree and the former governor having much in common, namely environmental activism and being a few tacos short of a Mexican combo platter.

Yes, this is not your normal book. It’s unusual, oft hilarious and good fun. Expect that people will look at you weird as you chuckle while reading it.

Enjoy.

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About Scott Butki

Scott Butki was a newspaper reporter for more than 10 years before making a career change into education... then into special education. He has been doing special education work for about five years He lives in Austin. He reads at least 50 books a year and has about 15 author interviews each year and, yes, unlike tv hosts he actually reads each one. He is an in-house media critic, a recovering Tetris addict and a proud uncle. He has written articles on practically all topics from zoos to apples and almost everything in between.