Dorsey, Tim

Florida Roadkill Florida Roadkill (1999)
From Publishers Weekly
This dizzying road movie of a first novel follows a passel of comic con men (and one con woman) down and around the Florida coast. Their adventures involve deliciously caricatured characters along with delirious violence, not to mention pigeon-eating maniacs, cocaine, traffic jams, biker gangs, hot-tub accidents, mock-Satanic heavy metal bands, partially frozen crocodilians, the World Series and the space shuttle. Serge and Coleman are roommates, manic ne'er-do-wells trying to fashion a living from crime and adventure. Sexy Sharon Rhodes murders magnates for their life insurance. On the run after her last hit, she meets Serge and Coleman, and the trio start a crime spree. Former millionaire George Veale has just been released from prison when he absconds with a suitcase of drug money. The cash belongs to insurance CEO Charles Saffron, who hires sleazy private investigator Mo Grenadine to get it back. (Mo is also a corrupt right-wing state legislator and a gay-baiting talk radio host.) Serge and Coleman (themselves remotely connected to drug cartels) get wind of the suitcase and scheme for the cash. Sharon wants in on the caper, too, whether or not the two men planned it that way. Dorsey's cast of dangerous oddballs chase, rob, shoot and kill their way from Tampa to the Florida Keys and the Dry Tortugas, until their raucous evasion of law catches up with them. Dorsey is a newspaperman by trade (at the Tampa Tribune), and his sentence rhythm can be crisply journalistic: "Wilbur Putzenfus was losing hair on top and working the comb-over. No tan. No tone.... Spiro Agnew without the power." Floridian readers may laugh or wince as Dorsey skewers the state's foibles and stereotypes. But he can abandon his verbal dexterity and his social observation to get a quick laugh or a quick jolt of violence: as a result, his satire seems less serious than it might be. Admirers of Elmore Leonard and Carl Hiassen will note their influences here; as entertainment, this rollicking, over-the-top novel is a blast. Agent, Nat Sobel. (Aug.)
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Hammerhead Ranch Motel Hammerhead Ranch Motel (2000)
From Publishers Weekly
With this followup to Florida Roadkill, Dorsey places himself in the ranks of Laurence Shames and Carl Hiassen as a writer of hilarious, violent farces set in Florida. A loopy energy fills this A-ticket trip among the bridges, sailboats, seedy dives, dysfunctional families and drug deals of Tampa Bay. In the prologue alone, a college student falls through the glass dome of the Florida Aquarium; aged but feisty Mrs. Edna Ploomfield fights a gun battle with a shotgun-toting drug dealer; coitally challenged playboy Johnny Vegas has his Porsche flattened by a truck; and a man in a Santa Claus suit torches a car on the Sunshine Skyway Bridge before jumping into the sea. Later, we meet Lenny, inveterate pothead and sometime 'gator wrestler, whose exploits turn up in the Weekly Mail of the News World; Alabama-bred blonde Ingrid Praline, whose "giant Lolita package gave men hemorrhagic fever"; panicky pilot Bananas Foster; and many more zany characters. After Dorsey introduces a white Chrysler and a metal briefcase with $5 million in it, fans will not be surprised when demented killer Serge A. Storm of Florida Roadkill shows up, kicking off a long parade of crazies, most of whom end up in the motel of the title during a hurricane (and a VCR viewing of Key Largo) in the novel's wild finale. Until then, joke follows joke like a 50-car pileup, in a plot that can feel like a game of 52-pickup; it's as if Dorsey chopped up his narrative into one- and two-page segments, threw them on the floor and published them in the resulting nonorder. The story loops backwards and forward in time: halfway through the book, for example, come the scenes that set up the wild prologue. But Dorsey's temporal convolutions do not impede momentum: instead, they encourage readers to hang on for the ride. And a delightfully giddy ride it is, ending with the promise of more craziness to come. (Aug.)
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Orange Crush Orange Crush (2001)
From Publishers Weekly
Florida politics get roundly skewered in Tim Dorsey's (Hammerhead Ranch Hotel) Orange Crush, a relentless farce about the battle for the Sunshine State's governorship between Republican incumbent Marlon Conrad and Democratic underdog Gomer Tatum. Conrad, completely beholden to special-interest groups, seems like a shoo-in, but an epiphany for Conrad when his reserve unit is posted to the Balkans changes everything. Would-be assassins, spin doctors, scandalmongers, bloodthirsty journalists, lobbyists and at least one serial killer (Dorsey regular Serge E. Storms) are along for the wild ride. Thoroughly cynical and over-the-top from the prologue to the "note on the type," it will produce laughs under many a beach umbrella.
Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.
Triggerfish Twist Triggerfish Twist (2002)
From Publishers Weekly
Conjuring up Carl Hiaasen and Elmore Leonard on crack, the fourth off-the-wall novel from Dorsey (Orange Crush) finds antihero Serge Storms a quixotic, socially conscious crook-***-executioner undertaking to salvage his upscale Tampa neighborhood from encroaching undesirables. Milquetoast Jim Davenport, an unlikely corporate hatchet man at the Indiana office of Apollo Consulting, a company specializing in downsizing the executive suites of top-heavy corporations, is promoted and moves with his wife, Martha, and their three kids to 888 Triggerfish Lane in Tampa. Always a step ahead of the law, Serge moves in across the street with his drug-fiend lackeys, Coleman and Sharon. Then, like popcorn in a microwave, all manner of zany subplots go spinning off as Jim accidentally kills the youngest of the notorious McGraw Brothers, newly released from prison. Florida special agent Mahoney, who has a vendetta against Serge, is dispatched to Tampa to stop a murderous crime spree that reeks of the McGraw clan. Meanwhile, the E-Team a quartet of elderly women whose first names begin with "E" stalks elderly Ambrose Tarrington III, who pretends to be wealthy by test-driving fancy cars and photographing himself in front of a luxurious mansion. John Milton, an ill-starred substitute teacher desperately trying to find a job, meets his nemesis, Rocco Silvertone, during a stint as a used-car salesman. As the surviving McGraws close in on Jim, a July 4 barbecue brings the cast together for a madcap denouement that will please the growing numbers of the Dorsey faithful.
Stingray Shuffle The Stingray Shuffle (2003)
From Publishers Weekly
In the frenetic tradition of the film It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World (1963), train buff and maniacal killer Serge A. Storms and his druggie pal, Lenny, chase a briefcase containing $5 million, which surfaced in Florida Roadkill (1999), in Dorsey's fifth over-the-top crime novel. Others trailing it include Russian hoodlums posing as Latinos, in the employ of the incompetent head of the world's only bankrupt drug cartel. The discombobulated mobsters end up on the NY-Miami supertrain, the Stingray Shuffle. The briefcase eventually lands in deserving hands-but will it remain there? The hurtling plot often gets sidetracked by Dorsey's self-indulgent set pieces and history lessons, leaving the reader out of breath, rather than breathless. Lenny says, "All my friends up north keep asking me, does the freak show ever take a break down there?" Not in Dorsey's Florida.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Cadillac Beach Cadillac Beach (2004)
From Publishers Weekly
Certifiable nutcase Serge Storms and Lenny, his spacey marijuana-addicted sidekick, are back again in Dorsey's sixth screwball crime-spree novel (after The Stingray Shuffle), this time on the trail of a stash of missing gems. As the novel begins, Serge escapes from Chattahoochee, Florida's state psychiatric hospital, and heads for Miami, obsessed with the idea of clearing up the mystery surrounding his grandfather's alleged suicide, which is tied to the legendary dozen diamonds still missing after Murph the Surf's infamous 1964 jewel heist from the Museum of Natural History. Serge's ambitious crusade gets off to an ill-omened start when he awakens the interest of both the mob and the Feds after getting into a graveside altercation with Tony Marsicano, the mob boss who was alone at the deathbed of Rico Spagliosi, a deceased fence reputed to have a part in the jewel heist. In a typical display of off-the-wall buffoonery, Serge starts a specialty Miami tour service, and his first booking is a group of drunken salesmen who, out to play a practical joke on a colleague, mistakenly kidnap Tony, with dire results. Sporadically moving back and forth between time present and nostalgic flashbacks to Miami Beach in the 1960s, the novel chronicles the methodical murders of Serge's grandfather's old cronies as Serge tracks his grandfather's movements at the time of the infamous gem heist and the return of the most famous of the stolen stones. Studded with psychosocial observations and dopey gags, this latest episode of Florida's hottest helter-skelter, hallucinogenic freak show will delight legions of Dorsey fans.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Torpedo Juice Torpedo Juice (2005)
From Publishers Weekly
In his seventh screwball mystery, Dorsey (Cadillac Beach; Orange Crush) serves up his usual cocktail of tropical mayhem and humor, though the mix is a little slushy this time around. Serge Storms, the nutty serial killer from Dorsey's previous novels, has gotten it into his head to search for Mrs. Right. His quest takes him to the underbelly of the Florida Keys, where he finds unlikely true love the minute he spots mousy librarian Molly. But even marriage can't tame Dorsey's hyperactive antihero, whose extracurricular activities of murder and cult organizing eventually lead to a clash with an Enron-like CEO eager to rebuild the community, and with a mysterious drug lord who is intent on destroying it. Muddying the waters are Coleman, an annoying junkie with the mentality of a fourth grader; Gus DeLand, a deputy whose ex-girlfriend's revelations about his sex life have the whole town laughing; and Anna Sebring, a woman out to avenge her brother's death. A few ingenious plot points entertain, but never credibly intersect; the hectic action fails to add up to a smooth-flowing story. The colorful Keys get Dorsey's trademark treatment, but even irrepressible zaniness isn't enough to keep this leaky vessel afloat.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
The Big Bamboo The Big Bamboo (2006)
From Publishers Weekly
Having previously taken on dirty politics and corporate scandal, Dorsey now skewers Hollywood in his eighth over-the-top novel. Serge Storms (who insists he's not a serial killer because he gets no joy out of it; he's just doing his duty) strikes again (Torpedo Juice; Cadillac Beach; etc.) with his strung-out sidekick, Coleman. Serge's new obsession is insisting that his beloved Florida be represented accurately in the movies and he's even taking a crack at writing a screenplay. He and Coleman end up in L.A., where mayhem ensues, most notably the kidnapping and murder of starlet Ally Street. Dorsey's cartoonish characters include the Glick brothers, slimy, coke-snorting owners of Vistamax Studios; ruthless director Werner B. Potemkin, whose over-budget/behind-schedule blockbusters cost people their lives; and unscrupulous agent Tori Gersh, who uses a rape accusation to secure a leading role for her client. Incorporating Ed McMahon and the prize van, Japanese investors and a trip to the Playboy Mansion, Dorsey takes wacky to a new level that readers will either love or hate. The litmus test is whether readers laugh when Serge tells the nursing home mogul he's about to kill that there is good news: "I just saved a bunch of money on my car insurance."
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Dorsey, Tim - Florida Authors Hurricane Punch (2007)
From Publishers Weekly
Scathing humor strips the pretense off its targets like a hurricane in bestseller Dorsey's rapid-fire ninth thriller. Last seen in The Big Bamboo (2006), serial killer Serge A. Storms, who seems like all of the Marx brothers rolled into one, rumbles across Florida in a stolen Hummer with his usually drunk or stoned friend, Coleman. Serge follows one hurricane after another, driving in the relatively safe eye of the storm, pointing out fascinating bits of Florida history and only killing those who truly deserve it. That would include the guy in the car next to you blasting his music as well as the person price-gouging hurricane victims. The murders are accomplished in appropriately bizarre, if not graphic, fashion. As Serge evades law enforcement and perennial nemesis Agent Mahoney, his latest road trip allows him to skewer everything from President Bush to fast food establishments, with particular emphasis given to the foibles of the media (newspapers) for which Dorsey once worked. 13-city author tour. (Feb.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Dorsey, Tim - Florida Authors Atomic Lobster (2008)
From Publishers Weekly
Dorsey's 10th novel to feature Serge A. Storms and Coleman (after 2007's Hurricane Punch) offers sex, violence, more violence and Three Stooges–like action. After meeting up with Rachael, a stripper and drug addict, Serge and Coleman, bored and broke, take a Florida road trip. Meanwhile, several other characters, destined to converge, start their own treks: killer Tex McGraw, sprung from prison with revenge on his mind; empty-nesters Jim and Martha Davenport, seeking a little excitement; the G-Unit, a group of investing grannies who like to cruise; three American drug dealers and three Mexican drug dealers, with a new smuggling operation; and two Davis Islands residents, one a famous ex-football player. Recurring fave Johnny Vegas pops up, too, along with several government agencies. While Dorsey's brand of comedy isn't for the faint of heart, this fast-moving, raucous tale delivers its usual punch while gleefully skewering everyone and everything along the way. (Feb.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved
Dorsey, Tim - Florida Authors Nuclear Jellyfish (2009)
From Publishers Weekly
Fasten your seatbelts: Serge A. Storms, Florida's manic tour and history guide as well as its most inventive and prolific serial killer, cruises at warp(ed) speed through bestseller Dorsey's 11th thriller (after Atomic Lobster). Serge's primary target is a tattooed thug called Jellyfish (behind his back) or Eel (to his face), whose gang rips off diamond couriers. But along the frantic way, Serge and his pal, the always-buzzed Coleman, remove a variety of societal pests, including skinheads beating a homeless man, auto repair shysters preying on tourists and bargain motels that don't deliver on their bargains. Serge's instruments of vengeance include garden hoses, pigs, aerosol sprays and lots of duct tape. Dorsey's inspired insanity certainly won't appeal to everyone, but Serge's antics give vicarious satisfaction to those who too often see misdeeds go unpunished. In short, Serge continues to pummel convention and evildoers with exuberant abandon and wit. 9-city author tour. (Feb.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Gator a-go-go by Tim DorseyGator a-go-go (2010)

From Publishers Weekly

Spring break, from its innocuous beginnings in 1935 to its drunken orgiastic present, provides the theme for bestseller Dorsey's dizzy 12th adventure to feature vigilante serial killer Serge A. Storms (after Nuclear Jellyfish). When vengeful drug dealers and federal agents go after an innocent college student, Andy McKenna, who's come to enjoy Florida's Panama City Beach, Serge becomes Andy's protector. Along the way, Serge delivers rough justice in inventive and bizarre fashion (death by garage door, by bridge guitar, etc.) to a mugger, a rude driver, and various others guilty of minor infractions. The reality show Girls Gone Haywire offers ample opportunities for scathing satire, as the show's producer becomes another one of Serge's targets. Meanwhile, Coleman, Serge's perennially stoned companion, acts as a guru to the spring breakers. As usual, Dorsey leavens the slapstick humor with intriguing bits of Florida historical lore. (Feb.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Electric Barracuda by Tim DorseyElectric Barracuda (2011)
From Booklist In Dorsey’s thirteenth Serge Storms novel, the manic spree-killer and Florida native son is off his meds again and building a website that encourages tourists to undertake “fugitive” vacations. Serge envisions midwestern families pretending to be “on the lam” and visiting remote, un-Disneyfied locales long favored by Florida outlaws. In pursuit is a police task force. The cops have finally tumbled to Serge as prime suspect in Florida’s most grotesque murders. And the cops are followed by a number of mysterious civilians as well as the Doberman, a reality-TV bounty hunter with plummeting ratings. Once again, it’s a Smokey and the Bandit chase story, fueled by dangerous drugs; imaginative dispatchings of arrogant Wall Street plutocrats; beautiful, dangerous women; and Agent Mahoney, whose decade-long pursuit of Serge has reduced him to speaking in the hilarious, fractured argot of a pulp fiction shamus. It’s Dorsey’s standard mash-up, bizarre and often very funny. His wonderful tour of Florida’s boltholes might make them prime-tourist destinations, but fortunately, they are very difficult to reach. --Thomas Gaughan


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