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The Everglades For Dummies Essay

1051 words - 4 pages

The best way to get people interested in a novel is to title it Skinny Dip . Even better, one of the most effective ways to get people involved in Florida 's Everglades is by subtly making it the setting for a novel full of murder, sex, mayhem, and lots of comedy. Carl Hiaasen's Skinny Dip is an attractive read from the start. The title and the cover immediately call on the baser of human instinct. They are catchy and promise readers entertainment. It is a perfect marketing scheme. Even if a person were to see the novel but neglect to purchase it, there is a big chance that that person will read the cover preview… “Chaz Perrone…the only marine scientist in the world who doesn't know which way the Gulf Stream runs”… “Illegally dumping fertilizer into the endangered Everglades ”… “The warped politics and mayhem of the human environment”… Automatically, any passer-by skimmer of the novel will wonder: “What way does the Gulf Stream run?” At the same time, they get a glimpse into possibly un-chartered waters and gain minimal, yet important details about the Everglades, namely, that it is endangered and that ‘warped politics' are part of the reason. If an individual delves into the novel, knowing little to nothing about Florida 's Everglades, they get a crash course about Florida 's environment in an Everglades for Dummies kind of way.

Skinny Dip is a great read for various reasons. It is packed with a murder mystery plot full of vengeance, plenty of shootings, and lots of scheming. It provides some ridiculous situations, hilarious sex scenes, and enough drama to keep a reader sufficiently entertained. The characters are real and the situations, though sometimes farfetched, are a good measure of the absurdity that is very much a reality. The most important aspect of the novel, however, is not why Chaz tried to kill Joey or how Joey goes about getting her revenge, but rather how an environment can affect the daily lives of individuals. The Everglades in Hiaasen's novel is the core of the story. Many critics may argue that the novel oversimplifies the Everglades situation, and it does. But what person, save an environmentalist, is going to pick up a novel titled Everglades: a Complete History ? Not too many people want to pick up the complete Microsoft handbook and read it in its entirety. Instead, they pick up the Microsoft for Dummies guide and learn the basics. That is essentially what Skinny Dip is all about, the basics of the Everglades . It exists, it is endangered, and it needs to be saved.

Hiaasen exposes the truth about the Everglades by interweaving it into the story's plot. Earl, the big fat and hairy bodyguard, becomes the ‘tool' essential to understanding the Everglades . Because of Tool's overwhelming pain caused by a bullet wound, he becomes addicted to fentanyl. In his quest for the patches of fentanyl, he visits hospices, “where the people are too sickly to make a fuss”. He steals from them, with no care whatsoever for...

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