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9.07.2007

Florida Literature - Barrier Island

For my money, there's nothing better than having a seat on the beach and cracking open a John MacDonald novel. Or a Carl Hiaasen. Or a Tim Dorsey. Or a Randy Wayne White.

Or an Elmore Leonard.

Man, what is it with all of these amazing Florida writers?

Yes, Florida is the epicenter for all that's weird and sensational (Schiavo, Elian, Hanging Chads and more). And yes, despite the encroachment of Team Rodent, its beauty is spectacular.

But the writers. Man, these guys turn out consistently great work.

John MacDonald's Barrier Island is a great Florida tale. It involves corruption, stunning scenery and a jerk named Tucker Loomis (great southern name). MacDonald is a wordsmith. His writing moves very well, and he's a champ at pitting earnest, good people against larger-than-life villains.

That's one of Hiaasen's calling cards, and Randy Wayne White's Doc Ford is the very epitome of solid character. Maybe that's what creates such compelling yarns-tales of good vs. evil set against the backdrop of the state's natural beauty.

If you haven't met MacDonald's Travis McGee, the two of you should get acquainted.

Best to you all, and enjoy the weekend!

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