Soooo…..a reality TV star walks into a local pub & proceeds to crack jokes about the LGBTQ community & motorcycle clubs, unaware he’s in a gay biker bar. What could possibly go wrong?
If you’ve read Hiaasen before you know what will follow…..hilarity, utter mayhem & a cast of loons running amok somewhere in Florida. Oh, and Gambian pouch rats just slightly smaller than a volkswagon.
Let’s see. There’s the eponymous Merry, a young woman who earns her keep “accidentally” rear ending cars while attending to some…uh…personal grooming. You also meet Andrew Yancy, a disgraced former cop currently living the dream on roach patrol as a restaurant inspector. And “Big Noogie” Calzone, a NYC mobster, is in town to buy sand for the disappearing beach in front of his luxury hotel.
It all begins when Merry (literally) runs into an ambitious Hollywood agent whose biggest client is Buck Nance. Buck started out life as Matthew Morgan Romberg (of the Wisconsin Rombergs) but is now the patriarch of a reality show set in the Keys. Think Duck Dynasty but with chickens.
Buck has a couple of problems. Before they were discovered, he & his brothers were members of a leading cover band. Think ZZTop but with accordions. Then Hollywood came knocking & before they knew it, they were all living on a set in Florida with their families. Buck’s biggest challenge used to be keeping his crazy mistress (she of “the wet wolverine” prowess) away from his wife. Now he’s on the run after barely surviving a bar brawl & somehow ticking off the Taliban. Meanwhile his brothers are plotting a coup….
Eventually all characters are involved in a search for the AWOL bearded wonder. Along the way more crazies join the parade in a story that could only come from the slightly disturbed mind of Carl Hiaasen. Nobody is safe as he skewers everyone from politicians & tourists to reality stars & their rabid fans. The laughs just keep on coming as one OTT situation crashes into another in an impossibly convoluted plot. But Hiaasen also uses his stories to draw attention to Florida’s serious environmental issues & the lack of stewardship that results whenever they interfere with tourist dollars.
So if you’re looking for something to fill the void left by Dostoyevsky or Faulkner, walk away. But if you’re in need of a laugh at the end of a long day pick this up. And just as an aside, if you happen to know what the Wet Wolverine is…