Review: Sick Puppy

Sick PuppySick Puppy by Carl Hiaasen

My rating: 1 of 5 stars

Other folks declared this book hilarious, incredible, a great send-up… me, I couldn’t finish it. The sad, horrible truth is I literally found it more interesting to listen to the numbers being called at the Social Security office than to try to read this book. (To be fair, though, they’re experimenting with cat videos! Cat videos!)

I guess I just don’t get it. I gave up, but I gave it a decent effort. It just refused to hold my attention. And I found the characters too cardboard-cutout to be remotely funny. Everyone is ridiculous to the extreme. Not only is the environmentalist so pro-environment that he shares a tent with a bobcat, he also is sufficiently crazy to blow up a bank (here’s a problem: I actually found his rationalization for bank-exploding perfectly reasonable and rational and not at all a sign of instability. Hmm.). The “bad guy” is not only a gross capitalist with no morals or regard for other people, he also cheats on his wife, eats disgusting quantities of food, “hunts” blind deaf rhinos, and litters at every opportunity.

It was like watching one-dimensional characters prance across a foam board in a kindergarten classroom.

This effect was exacerbated by the storytelling style: Hiaasen clearly isn’t a fan of “showing.” Everything was telling. Blah blah blah backstory at random times. Any chance for action was thrown out the window because everything is just declared, never shown directly on stage. It’s basically a play where the actors just stand around monologue-ing.

No thank you. I’ll be putting this Sick Puppy down.

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