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The Portsmouth Book Club December - Bad Monkey

Our book selection for the month of December is Bad Monkey by Carl Hiaasen.  Here is the general description from GoodReads:

Carl Hiaasen is back doing what he does best: spinning a wickedly funny, fiercely pointed tale in which the greedy, the corrupt, and the degraders of pristine land in Florida--now, in the Bahamas too--get their comeuppance in mordantly ingenious, diabolically entertaining fashion.

Andrew Yancy--late of the Miami Police, soon-to-be-late of the Key West Police--has a human arm in his freezer. There's a logical (Hiaasenian) explanation for that, but not for how and why it parted from its owner. Yancy thinks the boating-accident/shark-luncheon explanation is full of holes, and if he can prove murder, his commander might relieve him of Health Inspector duties, aka Roach Patrol. But first Yancy will negotiate an ever-surprising course of events--from the Keys to Miami to a Bahamian out island--with a crew of equally ever-surprising characters, including: the twitchy widow of the frozen arm; an avariciously idiotic real estate developer; a voodoo witch whose lovers are blinded-unto-death by her particularly peculiar charms; Yancy's new love, a kinky medical examiner; and the eponymous Bad Monkey, who earns his place among Hiaasen's greatest characters with hilariously wicked aplomb.

A review from BookList:

*Starred Review* Booklist reviews of recent Hiaasen novels (Nature Girl, 2006) have noted his step back from apocalyptic plots. That trend continues with a shambolic comic tale of garden-variety Florida crime: a wealthy Medicare fraudster appears to have died in a boating accident. The only evidence of death is his arm, which is reeled in by a hapless vacationer. Enter Andrew Yancy, once and future Monroe County detective. He thinks the fraudster was murdered by his wife, and if he can prove it, he can get his old job back and leave restaurant inspections behind. Think of Yancy as a Hiaasenian knight aberrant. He means well, but many of his problems are hilariously self-inflicted. His efforts take him from Key West to Miami to Andros Island, Bahamas, and back again. A huge cast of characters and a stunningly polyfurcated plot offer Hiaasen room to wow readers with information on grave robbery, restaurant-kitchen horrors, autoerotic asphyxiation, and even tips for beating Homeland Security’s radar to fly into South Florida. And there is also a delightful interlude of canoodling on the tuna tower of a Key West charter boat as well as no-holds-barred portraits of the Dragon Queen—a loopy, libidinous, old Bahamian “woo-doo” practitioner—and the titular Bad Monkey. Plot convolutions twice cause him to insert multipage explanations of what’s going on, but as always, Hiaasen is laugh-out-loud funny and thoroughly entertaining. HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: Hiaasen’s crime fiction crossed over to mainstream bestsellerdom early on in his career, and his fan base continues to grow.

December Holiday Book Swap!

It is that time of the year again!  We will be having our traditional holiday book swap in a Yankee Swap fashion.  If you would like to participate, bring a wrapped book of your choice to throw in the pot and make sure it is a favorite you would like passed on!  It can be new or used.

Local Author Visit!

For those of you who did not make it to the Ender's Game meetup, we had local authors Lynnann Frydrych and Nancy Madore visit to discuss their latest work The Ethics of Judge Nadeau - a TRUE story of local corruption within a small Maine town.

The Ethics of Judge Nadeau is the TRUE story of a judge who is (as of the date of publishing this book) currently presiding over York County Probate Court in Maine. The premise of the book is that—in spite of the Maine Bar of Overseers’ rulings to the contrary—the behavior of Judge Nadeau is unethical. Referencing real exhibits and depositions in an actual court case, The Ethics of Judge Nadeau provides a bird’s eye view into the logic and reasoning behind behavior so incredible it will take your breath away. This candid and (often) humorous account of Judge Nadeau’s antics (in and out of the courtroom) is as entertaining as it is astonishing. For us, the authors, it represents the last decade of our lives.

For more information visit:

The other books included in this month's vote:

The Bartender's Tale by Ivan Doig

Beach Music by Pat Conroy

The Left Hand of Darkness by Ursula K. Le Guin

Mistborn: The Final Empire by Brandon Sanderson (I think I have the correct one, but I could be mistaken!)

As always, thanks for everyone who attended this month's meetup!



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  • Darien L.


    December 12, 2013

  • Rich W.

    Loved the book, but the roads coming in from Durham over the bridge are treacherous tonight. Next month.

    December 10, 2013

    • Rebecca

      We missed you!

      December 11, 2013

  • Monik

    Sorry I missed it, see you next month.

    1 · December 11, 2013

  • Jeff

    Great time! I'll be back next time

    1 · December 11, 2013

  • Craig

    Unfortunately I have to travel for work and won't be able to make this

    November 27, 2013

    • Rebecca

      You will be appropriately flogged next month.

      December 9, 2013

  • Amy T.

    Forgot I will be in Mexico on November 12th which is why December will have to be my first.

    October 19, 2013

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