RAZOR GIRL by Carl Hiaasen: On the Knife’s Edge


RAZOR_GIRLBy: Carl Hiaasen
Narrator: John Rubinstein
Penguin Random House Audio/ Random House Audio
Genre: Fiction – Mystery & Detective – General
Release Date: September 06, 2016
12 Hours and 30 Minutes

Audiobook provided by publisher for review. No remuneration was exchanged and all opinions presented herein are my own except as noted.




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When Lane Coolman’s car is bashed from behind on the road to the Florida Keys, what appears to be an ordinary accident is anything but (this is Hiaasen!). Behind the wheel of the other car is Merry Mansfield–the eponymous Razor Girl–and the crash scam is only the beginning of events that spiral crazily out of control while unleashing some of the wildest characters Hiaasen has ever set loose on the page. There’s Trebeaux, the owner of Sedimental Journeys–a company that steals sand from one beach to restore erosion on another . . . Dominick “Big Noogie” Aeola, a NYC mafia capo with a taste for tropic-wear . . . Buck Nance, a Wisconsin accordionist who has rebranded himself as the star of a redneck reality show called Bayou Brethren . . . a street psycho known as Blister who’s more Buck Nance than Buck could ever be . . . Brock Richardson, a Miami product-liability lawyer who’s getting dangerously–and deformingly–hooked on the very E.D. product he’s litigating against . . . and Andrew Yancy–formerly Detective Yancy, busted down to the Key West roach patrol after accosting his then-lover’s husband with a Dust Buster. Yancy believes that if he can singlehandedly solve a high-profile murder, he’ll get his detective badge back. That the Razor Girl may be the key to Yancy’s future will be as surprising as anything else he encounters along the way–including the giant Gambian rats that are livening up his restaurant inspections.

My Take Oblong Shaped

With an edge of cool and modernity that makes me think of IN LIKE FLINT, THE ROCKFORD FILES, and bad Reality TV, Hiaasen’s novel definitely takes us on a wild ride.  With the crazy new meaning for smash and grab, this tale is ridiculously inventive and marginally funny — on the knife’s edge between funny and ridiculously outlandish. 

Animals, and humans, were definitely harmed in this book.  Not necessarily cute and cuddly animals though.

This book takes place in the Florida Keys and people seem to drive with speed and ease from Miami quite a bit.  The one time we went to the Keys stopping at Big Pine to catch a launch to an offshore island it seemed to take hours and hours and hours. Then it was no quick drive to Key West from Big Pine.  Honestly, I found the speed and ease of travel though the area to be the funniest part of the book.

This is what is sometimes called a “men’s book:” it has the brand of humor I find makes my husband fall off his chair while I roll my eyes. The unreality of a woman driving and causing car crashes while doing something almost physically impossible is the kind of thing that appeals to the teenager living inside the adult male’s head.

Rubenstein’s narration was great although I was not crazy for some of the voices given to female characters — but I often feel this way; do men hear our voices as comically breathy and vapid?  The story is jumpy and I often lost track of the way one chapter or scene was ending and the next beginning.  In a jumpy book the audio presentation can be a problem.

Merry, is interestingly sly and evasive with undertones of a supernatural amount of female intuition. Any ability to use gut feelings is apparently reserved for her alone; the men seem dumb as rocks and confounded by fame, booze and wishing for change.  In general the men get more character definition where the women are like pin-up girls and cartoons of women as reflected in the mirrored-sunglasses of the male characters.

I thought the story was mildly amusing and hugely unrealistic. To me, the writing felt modern and jumpy. I didn’t hate it but could have skipped it without any sense of loss. Truly, this book is the opposite of chick lit.

Links Blue Horizontal

PUBLISHER: http://www.penguinrandomhouseaudio.com/book/225081/razor-girl/

AMAZON: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/038539294X?tag=randohouseinc8634-20

AUTHOR: http://www.carlhiaasen.com/

AUDIBLE: http://www.audible.com/pd/Fiction/Razor-Girl-Audiobook/B01JGU1HZ6