• Oh, Florida!

  • How America's Weirdest State Influences the Rest of the Country
  • By: Craig Pittman
  • Narrated by: Mike Chamberlain
  • Length: 13 hrs and 38 mins
  • 4.3 out of 5 stars (91 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Oh, Florida! To some people it's a paradise. To others it's a punch line. As Oh, Florida! shows, it's both of these, and, more important, it's a Petri dish, producing trends that end up influencing the rest of the country. Without Florida there would be no NASCAR, no Bettie Page pinups, no Glenn Beck radio rants, no USA Today, no "Stand Your Ground" - you get the idea.

To outsiders Florida seems baffling. It's a state where the voters went for Barack Obama twice yet elected a Tea Party candidate as governor. Florida is touted as a carefree paradise, yet it's also known for its perils - alligators, sinkholes, pythons, hurricanes, and sharks, to name a few. It attracts 90 million visitors a year, some drawn by its impressive natural beauty, others bewitched by its man-made fantasies.

Oh, Florida! explores those contradictions and shows how they fit together to make this the most interesting state. It is the first book to explore the reasons why Florida is so wild and weird - and why that's okay. Florida couldn't be Florida without that sense of the unpredictable, unexpected, and unusual lurking behind every palm tree. But there is far more to Florida than its sideshow freakiness.

©2016 Craig Pittman (P)2016 Tantor
  • Unabridged Audiobook
  • Categories: History

Critic Reviews

"This entertaining book will amuse and astonish Floridians and anybody interested in the absurdity of the Sunshine State or human nature in general." (Library Journal)

What listeners say about Oh, Florida!

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
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    5 out of 5 stars

Oh Floriduh. I guess we have always been weird.

Would you consider the audio edition of Oh, Florida! to be better than the print version?

Not a reader, but a good listener.

What was the most compelling aspect of this narrative?

I wanted to see if I could learn anything new about my home state. Being a seventh generation Floridian, whose family arrived in Florida in 1774, I was pleasantly surprised by most of these facts. A lot of this information was easy to recall from what I lived and from what I had learned. It definitely gives you a detailed history of Florida.

Have you listened to any of Mike Chamberlain’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

No. He did a good job in a laid back style. The author seems depicted as somewhat opinionated and a bit left leaning. Some of the bad events were a bit overdone, but I could be biased.

What’s the most interesting tidbit you’ve picked up from this book?

The one I can remember is the start of Billy Graham. I did not know that, but heard him preach on TV quite often as I grew up.

Any additional comments?

The overall story was definitely a good listen. I enjoyed reliving the past. As we grew up in Florida, we always thought California was weird. After getting to my current age, I realize we have them beat. I love Florida and I only lived out of state twice. Once for U.S. Navy technical training and once to accept my first civilian job when leaving the Navy. I always wanted to return home to family, friends and the warm climate. Florida is my home and I plan to stay.

8 people found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

A book about the author's political views - boring

What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

A different author.

What was most disappointing about Craig Pittman’s story?

I assumed this would be a fun listen - quirky Florida tales , interesting history, etc. Not so. The book was written by a newspaper journalist who concerns himself primarily with Florida politics and his personal views on same. There are some 'weird' Florida tales but not nearly enough. The book is more of a rant about all that is and has been wrong with state and local politics for years. So what? He could pick any state and write about that.

Any additional comments?

How does a lifelong Floridian write about the sadly uninformed people who buy acreages or home sites in Florida only to learn that these sites will have no city water or sewer access for years? Seriously?? Has he never heard of septic tanks and wells? Presumably the buyers have.

9 people found this helpful

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So Much I Didn't Know

Having spent the first 20 years or so of my life growing up in Pensacola, I thought I knew a little more than most about the state I now call my permanent home. But I was so wrong. Craig Pittman covers everything from the Panhandle to the Keys and history from Florida's role in the Civil Rights movement, to the real estate development of housing booms and busts to Disney Inc.. Each chapter provided the details of things I heard or read about at the 30,000 foot level, from abortion clinic bombings and right to die as well as Florida's political successes and failures.

I spent over 20 years away from this state, only to return to it, because at the end of the day, with all its' weirdness, I embrace it as home...swamps, gators, rednecks, retirees, beaches and palm trees. I love all of it. As Craig said, living anywhere else is downright boring.

1 person found this helpful

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Terrible

This book begins by rambling around random facts about the state of Florida. It then turns to politics , if you're a fan of bashing conservatives , you will love this book. I really wanted to learn about Florida, not the politics of the author. Yawn...

9 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Engaging

A thoughtful mix of history and current events, the author makes a convincing argument how Florida influences the rest of the country!

3 people found this helpful

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great easy listen

Tons of little bite stories connected by Floirida which make you laugh. great book and really enjoyed it!

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Best fun

Literally the best fun I’ve had in an audiobook in the last year. Great reading, great writing, great content. A total blast.

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My Home State

Fun and informative. What a great story that just points out so much about Florida. I listened to the audio version and it was well done. I also had the ebook version with has additional material from the latest update of this book.

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Surprisingly good.

I was interested in learning more about Florida and this did not disappoint. The author has a treasure trove full of great stories and facts about the weird state of Florida.

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FLORIDA, NON FICTION, AND FUNNY

I just finished this great listen. Just my kind of book. Lots of facts and history that made me pause and run to the computer and look stuff up. Lots of nice or good information with just the right amount of trash and unsavory stories from the past to keep it really interesting. Long but I was disappointed when it was over. I definitely will listen to it again.