A hurricane hits Florida. While there's tragedy everywhere, there are pockets of unusual thinking and strange behaviour. A one-eyed man of the wild is hoping the storm will be the biggest on record. A man on honeymoon would rather take film of the victims than spend time with his new wife. A skull-juggler feels the need to search for the exotic animals he's recently inherited. Another couple come together to exploit the devastation for financial gain.
It does feel a bit like Hiaasen has created these sets of characters, thrown them into a blended and poured out the resulting cocktail onto the page, yet the various plots converge in a way that suggests there's been a lot more planning than that.
Essentially this is bonkers. Crazy things happen everywhere. There's kidnapping, fraud, crucifixion, death by lion, swamp sex, an electric collar, a dart gun and a deranged monkey camera thief to name a but a few.
There are lots of quotes on the sleeve about how hilarious the end result is. 'Howlingly funny', for example. 'Violently pleasurable'. 'Perhaps the funniest important writer in America'. For me, not really big on satire, it was none of the above though I smiled quite a bit and enjoyed quite a number of the situations and lines. No out loud laughs, just the odd warm moment.
Among my favourite moments, the mention in the plot of Paradise Palms. This happens to be a most excellent place to visit for anyone travelling to Edinburgh (food, music, vibe et al). It has a record label and shop, so you can find some cool tunes while you eat, drink and be merry.
Stormy Weather? Fair company for a journey, entertaining if you can find the right head space and a surprisingly pacey read for a big book.