Razor Girl

By Carl Hiaasen

It’s a shame that in the not too distant future most of southern Florida will vanish under the merging of Gulf and Atlantic waters, and with it will disappear the fertile ground of Carl Hiaasen concoctions. If for no other reason than this, and there are many others, of course, we should hope people come to their ecological senses.

Per usual, people engaged in lunatic endeavors populate Hiaasen’s latest outing. What, you may wonder, is it about south Florida that produces such lush crops of melon heads? No doubt the heat and humidity, but especially the nearly liquid air.

Razor Girl opens with a literal crash when Merry Mansfield rear ends Lane Coolman’s rental and then beguiles the Hollywood agent with happy personality and her ploy of giving herself a bikini shave while driving. Next thing Coolman knows he’s captive in a gambit to extract cash from him. More critical to Coolman, the incident prevents him from accompanying Buck Nance to a public appearance at a bar in Key West. Nance leads in a wildly popular reality TV show titled “Bayou Brethren,” an obvious spoofing of reality shows in general and one strain in particular. Without Coolman’s cool hand, Nance insults pretty much everybody in the crowd and most all of Key West and the majority of America, via YouTube. This causes Nance to flee and in the process cut off his lush beard, which he deposits in batch of quinoa at a popular restaurant, which pulls Andrew Yancy, recently busted from real to food cop, into the goings on.

Yancy’s a man with his own concerns, like getting back on the force and preventing his wealthy class action lawyer neighbor, who is experiencing nearly obscene reactions to a testosterone product, and his maybe fiancée from erecting a monster mansion next door to his shack, thus blocking his bay view.

As if these storylines were insufficient, toss in a fellow who restores washed away shore with stolen sand and a New York gangster who owns a hotel victimized by said sandman.

While these characters are disparate, they all share an appetite for larceny that under Hiaasen’s deft direction mixes them together in a rich Key West bouillabaisse of humor and mayhem. Crime and indiscretion has never been funnier. w/c


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