Monday, May 10, 2010

Book 13. Atomic Lobster

How I love Serge A. Storms. How I love Tim Dorsey for creating Serge A. Storms. How I hope that after book 11 Dorsey finds some new material for Serge.

Serge is the quintessential anti-hero you root for from book to book. I am not entirely sure that anti-hero is a strong enough word. He is freaking bonkers. He has OCD, ADD and all of the other three letters you can conjure. He is a psychopath who spends his days killing muggers, rapists, and litterers in the most creative of fashions. He has a good heart is completely without remorse and will do anything for his friends. He has been the central character of a cast of hundreds of crazy Floridians in 11 of Dorsey's novels. He is a veritable encyclopedia of Florida history and this love of his state is what drives him do the things that he does. Though he is clearly off his nut, he will not tolerate the "scum" that is invading his holy ground, the entire state of Florida. The individual plots all seem to run together and frankly I can't remember the specifics of Atomic Lobster other than there were retirees determining that it was more financially lucrative to live aboard cruise ships, relic smuggling "bad-guys", and a return of Serge's neighbours from Dorsey's first book. There is always a good deal of Florida movie and music history (this time it was bands from Florida that people think came from elsewhere: Skynrd and the Allman Brother's specifically) in addition to other crazy Florida trivia. Good stuff for those who have spent way too much time in that crazy state. Again, the books aren't so much about the story line but rather about the character. At least that is how they are for me. Serge's adventures are getting a bit tired and I fear that it might be best to put this money making franchise to rest. In fact, Dorsey took him to LA a few books back. Meh, good movie trivia but Serge belongs in Florida. The writing and this particular brand of humour make me laugh out loud which is why I keep coming back. If you haven't read Dorsey, start at the beginning and work your way through. The earlier ones just seem better, funnier. If you have read Hiaasen and liked Skink, you will like Serge and Dorsey's story telling. I would be willing to be bet you'd like him better. At least I do. With that I will leave you with some nuggets from Atomic Lobster that made me guffaw.

"Serge, I didn't go to school all those years to discuss Florida movies."
"Then you got gypped."
"Okay, okay. Here's what's bothering me. You want the truth? I don't have a legacy."
"Well, I have one, but it's the wrong kind. Think of all of the great creative legacies from history. Either a defining moment, like the photo of Mount Suribachi, or a fertile period, from Beggar's Banquet to Exile on Main Street. I need to leave a universally respected mark on this world or what's the point?"
"What brought this on?"
"I googled myself. People have no idea how words can hurt."

"Listen," Jim told Serge. "Don't you think you need to get back to whoever you're with --"
"Her name is Rachel."
"...back to Rachel."
"It's okay," said Serge. "I'm just getting a B.J. now. I can talk."
"In fact, it makes me want to talk. Hard to believe, but Peter O. Knight used to be Tampa's main airport. I can see it all now, silver DC-3s, alligator suitcases...Rachel watch the teeth...the terminal decorated with the 1930s art deco murals of George Snow depicting the history of flight, Daedalus to the Wright Brothers and Tony Janus, restored on display at Tampa International's Airside E, for those keeping score at home..."

Pick up some Dorsey for a lazy afternoon by the pool. Good stuff.

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