TODAY   |  June 12, 2013

Author gets inspiration from Fla. ‘freak festival’

Carl Hiaasen has won international acclaim for his humorous skewering of shady characters in his beloved Florida. He talks about his new book, “Bad Monkey,” which features Medicare fraudsters, restaurant inspectors, and a very bad monkey.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>> it's good to be here.

>> we brought a little florida for you.

>> it's fantastic.

>> so this book is called bad monkey . it features a bad monkey who does things we can't say on tv.

>> no you can't.

>> you feel there should be more monkeys in literature.

>> cinema is full of monkeys but i feel some great books could have been made better if there were monkeys in it and it's florida by the way. what else are you going to do.

>> your cup runeth over in florida .

>> so many weird things happen in florida .

>> yeah. i go in the newsroom and i can poach and steal from the news. it's just a freak festival i tell people.

>> and you have done that for this book too. everybody in this book seems to have some kind of stand, even the good guys.

>> even the good guy.

>> i don't want you to give away anything but tell us what the story is about.

>> it open with tourists fishing and they reel in a human arm which is not what they planned and the arm finds it's way into a policeman's freezer and then takes a little journey and the arm leads to the scam. it's medicare fraud and monkeys and what happens every day down there.

>> i find it fascinating that you can make medicare fraud an exciting read.

>> a lot of dope smugglers have gone into medicaid fraud because you just need a piece of paper and the government sends you a check. i weave all of that in.

>> it's a good mix. a little mystery, a little suspense, humor.

>> when you live down there you have to learn to half at it. if you took it all seriously, you would be depressed. it never ends.

>> you're still a comic for the miami harold. i got a kick out of the one for the irs scandal. talk about the gift that gives on giving.

>> when you saw the footage of the cupid line dancers and the star trek parody you have to laugh at it because our money is being spent so i wrote an article but it falls into your lap. this is one way that people overcome the anger is satire and you laugh at it.

>> you laugh so you don't cry, right?

>> no, you never cry.

>> give us your summer read recommendation.

>> well, the first one is a book called the redeemer. he is norw we stick together. the next is by lea carpenter and a son is in the special forces and disappears and there's a period of time when she doesn't know if he's dead or alive . it's her relationship with her kid. it's powerful.

>> and little green by walter mosley .

>> he is a great writer. i love his stuff.

>> as always we'll add bad monkey to the list.

>> thank you.

>> good to see you.

>> good to see you.

>> you can take the fish