Basket Case by: Carl Hiaasen (2002)
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
Summary: Jack Tagger writes obituaries for a Florida daily. He comes across the death of Jimmy, a well-known singer from the band Jimmy and the Slut Puppies. Jack believes there was foul play involved in his death. In an attempt to get out of writing obituaries and to have his name on the front page of the newspaper again he investigates Jimmy’s death. Crazy characters and adventures ensue.
Review: I currently edit obituaries at the local daily paper and as a joke a friend of mine gave me this book to read. I have never read anything by Carl Hiaasen before so I was a little unsure about the book. As it turns out, the book was a good read.
Hiaasen writes a good mystery filled with humor. I was laughing throughout the entire book. It reminded me of the books about Stephanie Plum by Janet Evanovich, which are some of my favorite books. The characters in this book are full of clever one-liners. Jack is an unforgettable main character. His time writing obits has made him overly cautious about death. He is always comparing his age to different famous people that passed away at his age and how they died.
The overall plot at times seemed a little bit ridiculous, but it made the book all that more funny. I read it as more of a comedy with a little bit of a murder mystery thrown in. At times I felt like it took a while for the plot to move forward, spending too much time on the characters and not enough on the death of the famous Jimmy.
One of the most interesting aspects of the book was the information given about the politics of newspapers. It does a good job at giving the reader some insight on how much newspapers have changed in the past few years. I think Hiaasen did a good job at describing how the newspaper industry works.
If you are a journalism major or a fan of the Stephenie Plum novels then I recommend this book to you. It is a quick read, will give you many laughs, and makes you think.