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The Sharks of Lake Nicaragua (1999, Lyon's Press) by Randy Wayne White

Posted Apr 01 2010 5:55am
The only thing better than a Doc Ford novel is a non-fiction book by Randy Wayne White . I picked up The Sharks of Lake Nicaragua from the library and read it over the last couple of days. One of the things that I enjoy about White’s non-fiction story collections is that, apart from a general connection among stories (this book is ostensibly about his travels, though they are literally all over the map), most of them don’t relate to each other all that much, which keeps things interesting and lively.

After years of reading his column “Out There” in Outside Magazine , I really got into his books when I moved to and lived in Florida for nearly a decade. Florida is such a crazy place that the many fine authors ( John D MacDonald , Carl Hiaasen , Tim Dorsey , James W Hall , and many others) do not need to do much more research than read the newspaper. It is said that the nation’s evening news are usually based on Florida’s local news and, while sad, is generally true.

White has a knack for putting himself in interesting places, finding unusual experiences, and then writing about them in a self-deprecating manner that makes the reader feel that they too could survive the adventure. Recommended.

Other non-fiction titles by White: Batfishing in the Rainforest (1991, Lyons & Burford); Last Flight Out (2002, Lyons Press); An American Traveler (2003, Lyons Press); (and one I’ve never read or seen) Gulf Coast Cookbook: With memories and photos of Sanibel Island, photographs by Carlene Fredericka Brennen (2006 Pequot Press).
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