Bad Monkey is a fractured story that follows the misfortunes of a half a dozen or so main characters. They each have a small turn in the spotlight before returning to our real hero, a former police officer turned health inspector named Yancy.
Set in Florida and the Bahamas we run across con artists, poisonous food, unwanted real estate, and a slightly mad monkey. There are lots of funny bits here and there, even though the story contains a number of murders and other gruesome business involving a Voodoo Queen and a severed arm.
I liked most of Bad Monkey, my only real gripe being the times that Carl decided to go native on me and spouts stuff like “Yah, mon. He hoppy fella.” and “It’s big woo-doo, mon.” A tiny bit of this stuff goes a long way with me, and there was way too much of it in Bad Monkey.
There was a lot of stuff going on that didn’t seem to have much reason for being in the story. The two or three comic relief characters end up just slightly better off than the villainous characters-depending on how you look at things. Even our hero doesn’t succeed in his main goal in life, though he does have enough odds and ends go his way that he should be happy for a year or two.
The writing was very good, very workman like prose that did a good job of keeping the pages moving. It’s not the kind of prose style that I think college classes will be dissecting in a hundred years, but then, I’m sure that’s not what Carl is aiming for. Bad Monkey isn’t literature, it’s something to read, get a few laughs and chuckles out of-and promptly forget.