To quote Pascal is a bit mischievous, but after all he was a contemporary and correspondent of Descartes, not to mention an equally gifted mathematician. And if the former's religious "Joie" is somewhat balanced by the latter's "Cartesian" enthusiasms, this book is a decent exploration of the modernist concept of man as reasoning entity, the consequent question of dualism (mind/body, faith/reason, material/spiritual etc.) this (once again) raises, and other related matters through discussion of various elements of the scientific, philosophical and social implications of Descartes' work and thought. Many interesting characters appear throughout the book from various parts of Europe especially, with Descartes' bones more or less as the "McGuffin" carrying it all along (they're a bit dusty you might say, and neither here nor there, not to mention headless, that's the irony of course). The epilogue ties up the strands of faith and reason rather nicely. Audio version is well read too, easy to follow.
Nice work by Arte Johnson (remember him from "Laugh-In?") in bringing to life the amusing characters in this very funny audiobook. The inflection in his voice gives just the right hint of satire (without going over the top), and satire is Hiaasen's special gift. As always with Hiaasen, this tale is filled with offbeat characters, great locales (the Bahamas this time; and south Florida as always)environmental evildoers, and of course Driggs, the Monkey of the title(reportedly a character actor, whose claim to fame is being Johnny Depp's monkey in Pirates of the Caribbean). Let's put it this way, Driggs is not so well-behaved, but then again, neither are so many others in this fable, and the more they misbehave, the more they mess up, hopefully giving our hero, Inspector Yancy, a way to recapture his detective's shield. Highly recommended.