Thursday, January 15, 2009

Book Review: NUCLEAR JELLYFISH by Tim Dorsey

I laughed out loud.

That's right, you heard me. I laughed out loud. That doesn't happen often to me when reading a book. So when it does, I take notice.

And I didn't just laugh once. Not by a long shot. I laughed often, chuckled repeatedly, and smiled almost the entire way through.

I have a new favorite author, and his name is Tim Dorsey.

Tim Dorsey has managed to create the ultimate anti-hero in Serge A. Storms, the psychotic/obsessive/compulsive/homicidal/vengeful/chaotic force of nature that travels the lovely state of Florida with his completely useless and helpless junkie alcoholic sidekick, Coleman.

When we first meet Serge and Coleman in the book, they are staking out a bridge, discussing Lynyrd Skynyrd, and wearing diapers in reverence of a lunatic astronaut.

This alone should make you want to start reading.

Serge has decided to launch his own Travel Guide Blog to Florida, featuring handy survival tips for the Floridian Tourist, such as how to tell where the criminals are sleeping by the way the cars are parked, and how to avoid Barracuda Hookers. This quest has him criss-crossing the Sunshine state in search of the iconic landmarks littering its landscape, many of them involving Lynyrd Skynyrd.

Along the way, Serge and his Incompetent Compatriot pick up a hitchhiking exotic dancer on a mission of vengeance and tuition, stumble upon a band of diamond smuggling coin collectors, and go head to head with a blood-thirsty sociopath with a horribly botched glow-in-the-dark tattoo, all the while being chased down by a suspended detective perpetual stuck in a crime fiction noir novel, and a mysterious stranger who seems to know Serge's every move better then he knows himself.

Still not interested?

Despite all of this, Serge manages to periodically take time out to exact twisted justice on perceived predators of the everyday civilian in a myriad of inventively gruesome ways. Combining his love of Home Depot with his distaste for con-men, hustlers, predators and all-around villains, Serge exacts a MacGyver-like ingenuity with a diabolical mean streak that guarantees a high death-toll, and amusing assortment of severed limbs, and over a million hits on YouTube.

What more could you want?

Tim Dorsey manages to combine the madcap with the morose, and creates a Punisher meets The Three Stooges romp through Florida that is exciting, unpredictable, and laugh-out-loud hilarious.

Trust me, just read the book already. You'll thank me.

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