On April 21st, I attended the Southern Kentucky Book Fest (SOKY) in Bowling Green, Kentucky, and I had the great pleasure of meeting and hearing speak the entertaining Carl Hiassen, author of adult and young adult books set in the wild and wooly trappings of Florida. Hiassen quickly informed the attentive group of fans listening to his one-hour (not long enough) presentation that his fiction is far from impossible meanderings of his wild imagination, that it is indeed parallel to the truths that only his home state of Florida can produce. Previous to this meeting, I had only read Skinny Dip (adult) and Hoot (young adult) by Hiassen. I thoroughly enjoyed these two books, and I'm not sure why I hadn't read more. I am now in the process of making amends and have gobbled up Stormy Weather (adult) and Chomp (YA). The characters, some repeating, in Carl Hiassen's books may seem like caricatures of real people, but they are the real deal, art imitating life at its most bizarre and often most shameless. His books reveal societal ills that are unfortunately not just exclusive to the state of Florida, although they are uniquely rendered there. May all readers have the opportunity to listen to Carl Hiassen speak sometime. Until then, reading his hilarious tales (or truths) is a most palatable substitute.
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