Sunday, March 23, 2008

LUCKY YOU by Carl Hiaasen

By Carl Hiaasen
Alfred A. Knopf
IBSN: 0679454446
Hardback, 353 pages, $24.00
Genre: Humorous Fiction

Grange, Florida is a small, out-of-the-way community known for its religious miracles, from the weeping Madonna to the stigmata man with holes in his palms that do not heal. Not to mention the road stain in the form of Jesus and the woman who visits every day in her wedding dress. And now, one of their own, JoLayne Lucks, has won one-half of the state’s lottery of $28 million. JoLayne works part-time as a veterinarian’s assistant and plans to use her lottery winnings to buy and maintain wooded acreage in danger of being developed into a shopping mall. The other half of the lottery winnings belong to Bode Grazzer, a short man convinced NATO forces are lining up in the Bahamas ready to invade America, and his sidekick Chub, a paint-sniffing wannabe mercenary. Chub and Bode, needing money to begin their own supremacist organization so they can defend the white man when America is invaded, decide to steal the other lottery ticket. They break into JoLayne’s home, beat her up and take off with the ticket. On the way to the lottery office, they recruit a convenience store clerk known for his lack of cognitive abilities and take hostage a Hooters waitress Chub has fallen in love with. To JoLayne’s aid comes Tom Krome, an embittered former investigative reporter now working for a small newspaper covering social events. Tom’s editor sends him to Grange to write a story about the lottery winner, but before he even pulls out his notepad, Tom finds himself in cahoots with JoLayne and hot on the trail of Bode and Chub. All six end up on a small island in Florida Bay, where a confrontation develops over the two lottery tickets and where two will remain behind forever.

Carl Hiaasen is a master at developing wacky characters and zany plots and dialogue that will leave the reader in stitches throughout the entire book. This is a book all readers will enjoy as they follow the madcap antics of these screwball characters.

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