Book Review – SICK PUPPY by Carl Hiaasen

BOOK RATING: The Story 4 / 5 ; The Writing 4 / 5

BOOK DETAILS: Sick Puppy (The Book Depository), Sick Puppy (Amazon)

BOOK REVIEW: Irresistibly irreverent. The title of Carl Hiaasen’s novel Sick Puppy, says it all really. Having just come from reading some dystopian fiction, this novel’s black humour was a real ‘cleansing of the palate’ for me. While black humour is not everyone’s cup of tea, I think Hiaasen does in his novels what we all wish we could do in everyday life once in a while – say what we really think, politically correct or otherwise! In Sick Puppy, Hiaasen’s main character is an eco-enthusiast (or eco-terrorist, depending on your one’s point of view) who has a short fuse when it comes to litterbugs. He sees it as his duty to teach the ignorant and narcissistic of society a lesson. When Spree crosses paths with Palmer Stoat, a self-absorbed political fixer, teaching a litterbug a lesson soon turns into an adventure of grand and comical proportions. While the title Sick Puppy is a euphemism for some of the outrageous characters introduced to the reader through the story, the tale does actually feature a labrador named Boodle who becomes ill. How does the dog become ill you ask? You’ll just have to read the story for yourself to find out…

While this novel is very accessible, don’t be fooled into thinking the story itself is simple or lacking message. I was impressed to find a complex web of characters and story lines that drew me in and really made me think. Everything that happens in the story happens for a reason, no matter how innocuous. While this story is taken to the extreme for comical effect, as with any black comedy, it reflects and spotlights the human character traits that we all observe, but in this politically correct world seldom acknowledge. I enjoyed this book immensely, and highly recommend it for those needing a cathartic laugh after a long day at work.

This book contributes to my participation in the Chunkster Reading Challenge (495 pages).

Other books by Carl Hiaasen include: Scat, Stormy Weather, Tourist Season, Basket Case, Skin Tight, Flush, Nature Girl, Double Whammy, Native Tongue