Monday, August 1, 2011

Review: Flush

Flush by Carl Hiaasen

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This is a review of the audio edition. Therefore, names may be misspelled.

I enjoy Carl Hiaasen's books. His YA are a bit more iffy for me, because a lot of the grit and random violence that makes his adult line so fun to read is toned down significantly. But it's still an entertaining story with a similar theme as many of his other novels.

This book follows the Underwood family. The father, Payne, is arrested for sinking a gambling boat, and says he did it because the boat's owner has been dumping his sewage tanks straight into the ocean, instead of paying to haul it away.

It was never clear to me why drastic measures were necessary, instead of going straight to the authorities. There were reasons stated in the last few chapters, but, at that point, they seemed tacked on. Also never fully explained was why the money to dispose of the sewage was such a hardship that the perpetrator rather contaminate an entire beach and risk getting caught.

I was never sure of the ages of our protagonists, Noah and Abbey. Noah mentions a boy who beats up on him who's 16, but I was unsure whether he was supposed to be older. Noah is a very young 16, if that's supposed to be his age. If he's younger, he's sometimes very wise beyond his years. He describes a woman in her late 20's as "not that old," when I distinctly recall thinking of all adults as various shades of "old" when I was a teenager.

This is not the best of Carl Hiaasen's books. In fact, I would venture that it's my least favorite. It may be more enjoyable when read by a preteen audience. It's certainly cleaned up significantly for younger readers. I just couldn't help but feel that the cleaning-up was to the book's detriment.

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