Friday, August 13, 2010

Novelist Carl Hiaasen on his "litmus test" for choosing books

Mystery novelist Carl Hiaasen on how he chooses a book to read:

When I’m deciding to read a book, I never open to the first chapter, because that’s been revised and worked over 88 times. I’ll just turn to the middle of the book, to the middle of a chapter, and just read a random page and I’ll know right away whether this is the real deal or not. You can tell right away, if it’s really good, it’ll be really good on page 158. Lots of people can write a good first page but to sustain it, that’s my litmus test. If I flip to the middle of the book and there’s a piece of dialogue that’s just outstanding, or a description, then I’ll flip back to the first page and start it.
Read the entire interview with the author on Entertainment Weekly's "Shelf Life" at

Hiaasen will be signing copies of his new book, "Star Island," as Tattered Cover LoDo in Denver on Wednesday, Aug. 18. FMI: