Orange Crush (Serge Storms)

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9780061031540: Orange Crush (Serge Storms)

No holds are barred in the battle to be the next Governor of Florida in this scintillating new black comedy thriller from the author of Florida Roadkill and Hammerhead Ranch Motel.

Death by taxidermy, sky-diving Hemingway lookalikes, Toto the Dancing Weather Dog and killer grannies – it’s just another day in Tim Dorsey’s Florida. Inspired by years spent reporting on stranger-than-fiction crimes for the Tampa Tribune, Dorsey burst onto the scene with his much-acclaimed novels Florida Roadkill and Hammerhead Ranch Motel, featuring Serge Storms, the homicidal misift with the encyclopedic knowledge of the Sunshine State. Now, in Orange Crush, Tim Dorsey turns his attention to senseless violence on the campaign trail…

For Republican Marlon Conrad, the Florida governorship is a done deal – until the day he and his team inexplicably embark on a whirlwind election tour in a bright orange camper van. But his ratings soar, and soon the press and his shell-shocked opponents set off in hot pursuit – closely followed by the police. For behind this unscheduled roadtrip lies a mysterious trail of mayhem and murder. And it bears all the hallmarks of Florida’s most wanted – and most lovable – homicidal maniac.

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Review:

Maybe you can't be too outrageous when the subject is Florida politics, but Orange Crush author Tim Dorsey (Florida Roadkill, Hammerhead Ranch Motel) manages to go so far over the top in this satirical page burner that even diehard fans of Carl Hiaasen, Laurence Shames, and Dave Barry may find their patience wearing thin after the first couple of chapters. When Republican Governor Marlon Conrad is inexplicably called up by the reserve unit--joined for a re-election photo-op--and sent to Bosnia, he suffers a midlife crisis that has his campaign staff totally flummoxed. Not that they're playing with a full deck either; Conrad's closest adviser is a crazed serial killer who happens to be an expert in Florida folklore, and the rest of the boys on the bus--the Orange Crush, Marlon's joyride across the Sunshine State--aren't much saner.

While Conrad's the main character, there are enough second-string oddballs to keep this road trip going until the denouement, a bizarre debate between the governor and his opponent, Gomer Tatum, whose idea of intelligent political discourse is a WWF death match. The characters include Helmut Von Zeppelin, a multimillionaire who owns most of the politicians in Florida; Jackie Monroeville, a trailer queen determined to get her man into the governor's mansion; and Gottfried Escrow, Marlon's chief of staff. There's plenty of mayhem but not much mystery in this comic novel that proves there can be too much of a good thing. While Dorsey keeps the belly laughs coming, he doesn't stop long enough for the reader to give much of a hoot about any of his characters, much less root for the good guys to win. --Jane Adams, Amazon.com

Review:

‘I almost exploded with laughter… It’s manic, hysterical and puts Dorsey well up there with the cream of the comic writers who seem to have made Florida the centre for satirising America in the 21st century. Excellent.’
Mark Timlin, Independent on Sunday

‘Impeccable bad taste… another warped, manic romp through Florida and local politics, evoking the rageful satire of Carl Hiaasen and the malicious vindictiveness of Hunter S Thompson. Set against the background of an election and involving a ventriloquist beauty queen and a serial killer with a taste for magic, this is comic crime at its best.’
Maxim Jakubowski, Guardian

‘An heroic attempt at literary revenge on, among other targets, American politics, gridiron football, billionaires, tennis and the media. It marks a return to the form of Dorsey’s astonishingly imaginative debut, Florida Roadkill.’
The Times

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