Normally, I love Carl Hiaasen's books, what with the former governor turned eco-terrorist who subsists on road-kill, the villain with a weedwhacker instead of a hook where his hand used to be, or the theme-park sleazeball trying to peddle a dead Shamu as catfood. Hoot is something else again.
"Has Carl forgotten how to write?" I wondered. "Too much time in the Florida sun?" Hoot is more Jerry Lewis than Dennis Miller, move Bill Murray than John Belushi. Slapstick. Middle of the road. Simplistic.
Only upon finishing the book did I notice that this was Hiaasen's first novel for "a younger audience." An Amazon review notes, "Carl Hiaasen is riding the wave of adult fiction writers down-shifting their word processors to 'Kid Lit' in the wake of Harry Potter."
I find it confusing when an author messes with his brand without informing his customers. How about a big "Kid Lit" sticker to let us know what we're getting?
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