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Dance of the Reptiles: Selected Columns    by Carl Hiaasen & Diane Stevenson order for
Dance of the Reptiles
by Carl Hiaasen
Order:  USA  Can
Vintage, 2014 (2014)
Softcover, CD, e-Book
* * *   Reviewed by Mary Ann Smyth

Dance of the Reptiles by Carl Hiaasen should be read by everyone who can read. This collection of selected columns by Hiaasen includes work written from the turn of this century up to 2012 for a Miami newspaper.

Were Hiaasen living in some countries, I'm sure he would be incarcerated in the deepest dungeon, never to see the light of day again. The powers that be would not want him broadcasting all their transgressions. He is the best thing Florida has going for the state. He takes umbrage at greed, flagrant misuse of public funds, etc., as well as the rape of the land he holds so dear.

He gives an example of the topping of 12,000 mangrove trees so that houses that were to be built could have a view of the water. Never mind that mangroves are endangered. All 12,000 died from that topping and no one even paid a fine! Manatee waters are invaded by anyone who feels like it. Many of these gentle creatures have scars from propellers. Many die because of their encounters with careless tourists.

The unbelievable use of tax dollars to pad the pockets of politicians is the same as taking money from each resident of Florida's pocket as they flaunt their ill gotten gains. Don't even get Hiaasen started on politics. His findings on politicians' wheeling and dealing alone would fill a book. A large one.

I can't begin to tell you of my feelings while reading this book. I was horrified by the way a presidential election was managed and the whole country suffered from that fiasco. Hiaasen is not afraid to name names. And he does. Were I to have any power in Miami, I would be very careful in how I used it. I wouldn't want him on my tail.

Hiaasen also writes great mystery books. His sense of humor is evident in whatever he writes. He incorporates his monitoring of the ecology of Florida in whatever he writes. This is a man who is ready and willing to put his talent to good use. I cannot urge you enough to read Dance of the Reptiles. Hiaasen is trying to save his state from utter ruin. But he needs help to do it. More power to a man who believes in what he says and does.

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