I’m home again — in western Massachusetts, where I grew up — and I recently went home to the Miami Herald, with a book review in Sunday’s paper. The book, called The Lizard King, is a great read — lots of South Florida weirdness, in a telling that’s appreciative without being over the top. It’s the same kind of stuff that Carl Hiaasen and many others write about in fiction; I find it more compelling when you realize these people are real and these crazy capers actually happened. The book got a good review from Janet Maslin in today’s New York Times, too.
BTW, the famous Tom Wolfe phrase from the subject line of this blog post? Turns out he didn’t make it up — he got it from Lincoln Steffens’ widow, to whom he was describing his novel in progress. But he asked her permission to use it, so we’ll keep him off the list of literary no-goods for now. I learned that from an interesting book we recently added to the collection at the FKCC library — called “Nice Guys Finish Seventh,” about quotes and phrases that have been misquoted through history. The title of that is closer to the original of Leo Durocher’s actual phrase, which was apparently “The nice guys are all over there — in seventh place.” Which I think is better than “nice guys finish last” but admittedly not as pithy.