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Swamplandia! (Vintage Contemporaries)

1 rating: 4.0
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Guest Reviewer: Carl Hiaasen  

Carl Hiaasen was born and raised in Florida. He is the author of twelve novels, including the bestsellingStar Island,Nature Girl,Skinny Dip,Sick Puppy, andLucky You, and three bestselling children’s … see full wiki

1 review about Swamplandia! (Vintage Contemporaries)

Wrestling the Seths

  • Nov 26, 2012
This is a book with an unusual theme, a family of alligator wrestlers on their own island off the coast of Florida. Their father claims that they are part native American, but the narrator suspects that this claim is just for the titillation of the tourists, who come by ferry to see the wrestling show, and watch the narrator's mother dive into, and swim across, a pool full of live Seths (what the family calls alligators).

When the mother dies the family appears to fall apart. The father takes off for the mainland, the oldest child, a brother, goes also to get a job at a competing tourist attraction, the older sister communes with ghosts and intends to marry one, and the narrator, 13 years old, seems to be left as the only one interested in saving the family business.

There are a lot of strange and interesting happenings in this book, and the writing at times is quite lyrical. There just seems to be too much swamp stuff going on, and it gets a bit tiresome occasionally. Often it seems that the author has lost control of the plot, and uses some almost unbelievable actions to reunite the family. As a first novel I found it very interesting, and can recommend it.

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