I’m not entirely sure how this book made it onto my shelf, but I know that it has been lurking in my “stack” bookcase for at least 6 or 7 years now. After an epic undertaking such as Otherland I needed a reset book, and I figured a random unknown outside of my usual genre would work well for that task, so I picked it up.
Basket Case is straight-up mystery, set in (more or less) present day. The main character, Jack, is a mid-forty-something writer who was once a hot-shot at his paper, but got consigned to the career-ending hole of Obituaries after dressing down the new, pompous owner of the paper. One day a death notice for a famous singer from his youth comes across his desk, and when he goes to interview the remaining family he finds out there might be more to the death than just an accident.
Pretty ho-hum, as far as stories go but damn if Carl Hiaasen isn’t one funny bastard. He had me laughing about something every couple of pages, be it the blithe and death-obsessed tone of his main character, or the bizarre situations the character managed to get into (ex: mauling a burglar with a 30foot frozen lizard).
Unfortunately, great humor is not enough to make up for my apathy towards non-scifi/fantasy genres. There just isn’t enough escapism for me in a modern day mystery, I suppose. I kind of… forgot that I was reading Basket Case. I just slipped my mind. I started in on Red Wolf Conspiracy and a day or two later found Basket Case in my purse and went “Oh, oops!” I got about half way through before it was lost to the recesses of my forgetful brain – it’s not like it was boring, it just didn’t have that escapist hook that I need to enjoy a book.
Ah well. So goes my yearly foray outside of my usual genres.