Carl Hiaasen is a best-selling, award-winning novelist, a columnist for the Miami Herald, and our pre-eminent articulator of all things Florida — that most confounding and fascinating of states, both politically and culturally. His new young adult novel "Chomp" focuses on Wahoo Cray, who lives in a zoo and whose animal wrangler father gets a job on the survivalist reality TV show "Expedition Survival!," hosted by an overzealous and incompetent danger-seeker.
To many Americans, this probably doesn't seem like too far-fetched a depiction of Florida. Politically, it's unique among the country's swing states: it's where chads are lost, where delegates sometimes aren't counted, and where the Whig Party still exists. And in the American imagination, it remains perched somewhere between the place where our nation's elders go to retire and the near-lawless territory of alligators, swampland, and stand-your-ground laws.