Audiobook Review: Tiger Shrimp Tango by Tim Dorsey

19 02 2014

Tiger Shrimp Tango by Tim Dorsey (Serge Storms, Bk. 17)

Read by Oliver Wyman

Harper Audio

Length: 9 Hrs 44 Min

Genre: Florida Thriller

Grade: A-

I always enjoy a well constructed plot. Stories that structure themselves well, with a natural progression, well timed twists and reveals, and conclusions that tie up all the tangents the authors went on in intriguing ways. Except when it comes to Serge novels. For some reason, the more scattershot, unstructured the plot is in one of Tim Dorsey’s Serge A Storms novel, the more I cackle in glee. The latest novel, Tiger Shrimp Tango has Serge at his manic best. Sure, there is a plot. Former Police nemesis, the noir speaking Mahoney is now a Private Eye, and has hired Serge to track down scam artist in an attempt to recover the money they took for their marks. The tracking down part isn’t hard for Serge, it’s the discipline not to kill them in elaborate ways were Serge is lacking. Tiger Shrimp Tango has everything you love in a Serge novel. While not the best plotted novel of the series, it’s full of twists and tons and tons of laughs. When not working on Mahoney’s projects, Serge is attempting to bring together the polarized sides our modern political landscape in some of the most hilarious moments of the series. As someone who considers himself and extreme moderate and politics junkie, the pot shots at both sides of the spectrum had me holing, especially the segment where both parties attempt to explain why Jesus would make a horrible political candidate.  On top of all that, Serge comes up with some of his best kills and most deserving prey. Tiger Shrimp Tango is another great example of how Dorsey takes the already zany over the top Florida Thriller genre and ramps it up to absurdity all to the delight of this particular listener.

Oliver Wyman can make even a mediocre Serge novel into audio gold, and in Tiger Shrimp Tango, he delivers another performance so hilarious you want to avoid drinking dairy products unless you enjoy the feeling of milk gushing from your nostrils. For some reason, I always tend to listen to one of these novels when I am out and about shopping in public places, and the stares I get from my inappropriate laughter makes it all worth it. Wyman gives Serge and Coleman and almost cartoon character feel, yet infused with a humanity you can’t overlook. Yet, one of the highlights of the novel is the assortment of colorful characters, lowlifes, flim flam men and women, innocent dupes, political protesters and other not quite typical character  that Wyman brings to life is such wonderful ways. Tiger Shrimp Tango is one dance you wouldn’t want any other voice to cut in on.





Audiobook Review: The Riptide Ultra-Glide by Tim Dorsey

29 01 2013

The Riptide Ultra-Glide by Tim Dorsey (Serge A. Storms, Bk. 16)

Read by Oliver Wyman

Harper Audio

Length: 9 Hrs 20 Min

Genre: Florida Thriller

Quick Thoughts: The Riptide Ultra Glide is a screwball comedy on meth, told in Dorsey’s signature interlocking style. While I found the plot of The Riptide Ultra-Glide to not be as satisfying as other Serge tales, Dorsey makes up for it with a lot of other flourishes that had me laughing, cheering and considering what items I could turn into a bong (for scientific purposes.) Any time I get to spend with Serge and Coleman is time well spent, as long as I don’t end up in a burning boat.

Grade; B+

I honestly think that working for the Florida Chamber of Commerce or Tourism Bureau as a special liaison to the fans of Florida Thrillers would be an interesting job. Let’s face it, Florida as a vacation spot seems like an idyllic choice. Warm weather, sunny beaches, hot night life, Disney, Cape Canaveral and many boutique Touristy places make it a pretty easy sell to those wanting to escape the drudgery of there normal life for a little fun and magical vacation time. Yet, I am someone who has spent more time reading about Florida than actually standing on its earth. My impressions of Florida come from Carl Hiaasen, Tm Dorsey, James W. Hall and Paul Levine among others. In the literary Florida, tourist end up washing up dead on the beach with a toy alligator lodged in their throats, and that’s only if they aren’t mistaken for a drug dealer, framed for murder or scammed by telemarketers and confidence men. In literary Florida, crazy serial killers roam the highways looking for rude tourist to become contestants in one of their elaborate murderous game shows. How exactly do you sell a 4 Day 5 Night package to people who may be wary of their Cruise Line being hijacked and your only hope is some hippyish roustabout who spends his free time tying fishing lures? Yet, part of me realizes that maybe the mad-capped hijinks of our favorite Floridaphiles may be the exact motivation needed to tempt us bibliophiles to the Sunshine State. I for one have always wanted to be taken on a tour of the Florida hotspots by some mentally disturbed yet somewhat lovable spree killing maniac and his substance abusing friend.  Of course, I’ve been told I’m not quite right.

The Riptide Ultra-Glide is the 16th edition of Tim Dorsey’s hyper kinetic somewhat deranged love song/cautionary tale of his beloved Florida through the eyes of the ultimate Florida superfan and often times elaborate killer Serge A. Storms. This time, Serge, along with his trusty yet smoked up companion Coleman is shooting a reality show about Florida. Lucky for them that they happened upon a too nice to be true couple, Patrick and Barbara MacDougal, who are in the midst of a nightmare Florida vacation, where they have been robbed, injured, mistaken for drug dealers, slandered and scammed. This, in Serge’s mind, makes them the luckiest people on earth. The Rip Tide Ultra Glide is a screwball comedy on meth, told in Dorsey’s signature interlocking style. There are so many literally laugh out loud moments held within the digital pages of this novel, that I scared my share of small children and pets with my inappropriate laughter. I loved every minute of this tale, but I have to admit, this wasn’t my favorite Serge Storms novel. While I love all the zaniness of Serge, typically his homicidal wackiness ends up having a positive net effect on the storyline, yet, here I didn’t feel it. Serge is more of a passive observer in this tale, and doesn’t truly get involved in the story until far too late. I was much more fascinated by Pat and Barb’s tale of the WORST VACATION EVER. I genuinely liked this couple and hoped that things would end up all working out in the favor, yet, I feel the payoff never truly came. There were so many other things to really love about this novel that it made up for it’s less that satisfying plot. While Serge’s violence was a bit more restrained in this novel, his commentaries on cultural issues were spot on gut busting hilarious. Even better, I thought this was the first time that Coleman actually was a more interesting character than Serge. At points in the story, Coleman out-Serge’d Serge, becoming a guru to the stoner elite, and pulling a strange sort of brilliance out when you least expect it. Like Pizza and sex, even when the Serge A Storm’s novel your reading isn’t the best of the series, it’s still a lot better than sitting at home alone watching old episodes of Coach. While I found the plot of The Riptide Ultra-Glide to not be as satisfying as other Serge tales, Dorsey makes up for it with a lot of other flourishes that had me laughing, cheering and considering what items I could turn into a bong (for scientific purposes.) Any time I get to spend with Serge and Coleman is time well spent, as long as I don’t end up in a burning boat.

Part of me thinks that I should recuse myself every time I review an Oliver Wyman performance of a Tim Dorsey novel because I am totally biased by its awesomeness. I will posit that Oliver Wyman’s bringing to life of Serge and Coleman is some of the purest forms of audiobook joy I can think of. It’s hard for me to give a true critical analysis because while I’m listening to it, I’m like an audiobook nerd jumping up and down constantly repeating "My God… My God.. My God…" So excuse my fanboyish excesses when I say that Oliver Wyman gives another brilliant, funny, even somewhat touching performance in The Riptide Ultra-Glide. Well, maybe not touching. My tears were probably more from laughing so hard I burst retinal blood vessels, but still. Dorsey creates some wonderful characters. They are often over the top and possibly even cartoonish, and Wyman never fails to create the perfect voice for each of these characters. Wyman doesn’t bother with restraint, he just goes at each character like a neutered dog humping a stuffed animal to show his dominance. He wrings as much humor out of each one of Dorsey’s elaborately set up situations while deftly leading you though the mayhem, never leaving the audience behind. It’s a heck of a fun ride, and while you may be scared at times, Wyman never loses control of the vehicle.





Audiobook Review: Pineapple Grenade by Tim Dorsey

25 01 2012

Pineapple Grenade by Tim Dorsey (Serge A. Storms, Bk. 15)

Read by Oliver Wyman

Harper Audio

Length: 11 Hrs 7 Min

Genre: Florida Thriller

Quick Thoughts:Pineapple Grenade is a classic Tim Dorsey Serge novel, which sticks true to his formula because this formula works. Serge is truly one of my favorite literary characters, and this entry, which is the 15th on the series, ranks up there with my favorites.

Grade: A

Those who follow this blog, or have read any interviews with me, or checked out my twitter feed, will know that I love Tim Dorsey’s Serge A. Storm series. If you don’t do any of those things, I should probably let you know that I love Tim Dorsey’s Serge A. Storms series. I am a fanboy defined. You should know that unless Dorsey decides to spend a novel having Serge knitting and writing sonnets about how much he loves guest bathroom towels, I will probably be giving the latest Serge novels high marks. Probably the only thing I like more than a Serge novel is a Serge audiobook read by the amazing Oliver Wyman. I have mentioned this fact before when waxing philosophical about audiobooks, but Dorsey’s novel Hurricane Punch was the one novel that I attribute with taking me from, "Oh, audiobooks are nice when I can’t read" to "OMG, I want to run away with audiobooks and have their babies." I have reviewed three novels in this series here at the ‘lobe, and did a brief write up of a fourth, Gator-A-Go-Go, in my Best of 2010 post. For those who are not familiar with this series, Serge is a lovable, yet undeniable insane Floridiaphile. His obsessive love of Florida history leads to madcap adventures throughout the state, often with his stoner best friend Coleman. Oh, I should probably add that he’s also a serial killer, who preys on the rude, abusive or greedy, and comes up with elaborate methods of dealing out death. One of my life dreams is to someday take a tour of Serge’s Florida. I have only been to Florida once, and it was only Jacksonville, so I don’t think that really counts.

South Florida has always been a hot bed of espionage, what with Castro, drug running, and the hit series Burn Notice, and now it’s time for Serge to get in on the action. With a big International Summit taking place in Miami, Serge just knows something big is going to happen, and begins to take steps to get himself noticed by the spy community. Yet, after saving a Latin American President from carjackers, he gets noticed by a CIA Field office, who are mired in a struggle against one of their greatest enemies, another CIA field office. Hence begins perhaps my favorite entry in this series since Hurricane Punch. I started listening to Pineapple Grenade while shoe shopping at Wal-Mart, and the first line ("A prosthetic leg with a Willie Nelson bumper sticker washed ashore on the beach, which meant it was Florida) made me laugh out loud, to the chagrin of those standing near me. What I love about Dorsey is that no literary rule is safe. A Serge novel is like a Monty Python movie, where the 3rd wall is no obstacle to a good joke. From Serge, under a truth serum, being asked about the plot, and hence recapping the story thus far, to a brief interaction with his story’s omniscient narrator, Serge and Dorsey do things in this novel that I have trouble seeing anyone else pull off. Yet, Dorsey isn’t just slapping together crazy scenarios to get the biggest laughs, the novel itself has a weird, but coherent overall story arch that is quite well plotted with even a few surprises thrown in. Pineapple Grenade is a classic Tim Dorsey Serge novel, which sticks true to his formula because this formula works. Serge is truly one of my favorite literary characters, and this entry, which is the 15th on the series, ranks up there with my favorites. 

What can I say about Oliver Wyman that I haven’t said already? I can go on and on about how perfectly his characterizations fit my vision for Serge and Coleman from the days I read this series in print. Yet, instead I will take on his overall narrative tone. One thing I noticed with this listen was how deliberately he slow played the rampant humor of this novel with his role as narrator. Wyman, throughout his reading of Pineapple Grenade, used long pauses and deliberate readings of the prose to counteract Serge’s manic vocalizations. While I have noticed this before with Wyman’s reading, I believe it was particularly effective in this novel. Also, during his express role as omniscient narrator, you could just hear the smirk in his voice. I know that narrators cannot like every book they read, but I find knowing that Wyman looks forward to every chance he has to channel Serge and Coleman always adds something special for me the listener. Although I have just finished listening to this audiobook a few hours ago at the time I am writing this review, I already miss Serge, Coleman and Dorsey’s crazy vision of Florida, and long for the next installment to this series.

Note: A special thanks to the wonderful people at Harper Audio for providing me with a copy of this title for review.





Audiobook Review: When Elves Attack by Tim Dorsey

4 11 2011

When Elves Attack: A Joyous Christmas Greeting from the Criminal Nutbars of the Sunshine State by Tim Dorsey

Read by Oliver Wyman

Harper Audio

Length: 5 Hrs 5 Mins

Genre: Florida Comic Thriller

Quick Thoughts: When Elves Attack is the perfect present to fans of Tim Dorsey’s Serge A Storms series, giving us everything we have grown to love about the antics of Serge and his cohorts, and adding to that the spirit of the Holidays with hilarious and heartfelt results.

Grade: A

Throughout much of my 20’s I was one of those grinchy, bah-humbugging Christmas’s grouches that seem to become more and more prevalent. Much of the wonder and fun of Christmas was lost on me. I was single, unmarried, and my siblings were all starting there own families, so I was lucky to receive a few sympathy gifts and an invite to my sister’s traditional Christmas day shenanigan’s of which the best part was her lasagna.  To make matters worse, most of my 20’s was spent working as a retail manager where they started playing the Christmas music November 1st on a loop of which is fine for a quick stop, but mind numbingly annoying after a 12 hour shift.  That all changed about 10 years ago, when I changed careers, and I began working with special needs adults. I realized that viewing Christmas through their eyes made all the difference. Seeing the joy as they see Santa riding in on the Fire Truck, and opening their presents Christmas morning turned me from Scroogish ways, and allowed my heart to grow three sizes bigger. So, despite it being only the first week of November, I was excited to take on my first Holiday audiobook listen. Of course, it didn’t hurt that the audiobook was written by one of my favorite authors and featuring some of my favorite characters, Serge Storms and Coleman, as well as a variety of the colorful Florida Nutbars that have brought me so many laugh out loud moments in this series.

If you are not familiar with Serge A. Storms, you are missing one of the best literary characters out there. Serge is an utterly insane, serial killing Floridaphile, who together with his drug raddled, slow witted sidekick Coleman gets involved in a yearly yarn. Now, despite his killing sprees Serge is a highly likable character, unless you are a rude, abusive lout who violates one of the many off kilter rules of Serge’s twisted civility. Each year, Serge becomes obsessed about some Florida institution, like NASA, hurricanes, Spring Break, etc. and while enjoying his rampage through the Sunshine State, takes out those who hurt or exploit something he loves in complex and creative ways. In many ways, experiencing Christmas through Serge’s almost childlike, twisted perspective is a great way to truly appreciate the Holiday. In When Elves Attack, Serge and Coleman go on a mission to end the media hyped "War on Christmas" by doing Christmas "Big" and this leads to lots of hijinks and funny moments. Yet the true heart of the story is Serge attempting to learn how to be a family by moving onto Triggerfish Lane, and emulating his hero, the low key, conflict phobic family-man Jim Davenport. While not as madcap as some of his previous novels, Dorsey brings his A game in a tighter, more uplifting tale that is still full of his clever uses of Serge’s mania. In many ways, a Tim Dorsey novel reminds me of some of the best written Seinfeld episodes, where seemingly random events merge together in a perfect ending that you chide yourself for not seeing coming. What really won me over was the ending of the tale, full of the childlike joys of the season, and filled with characters we have grown to love. When Elves Attack is the perfect present to fans of the Series, giving us everything we have grown to love about the antics of Serge and his cohorts, and adding to that the spirit of the Holidays.

One of the joys of any Serge novel is experiencing it through the voice of Oliver Wyman. From the opening moments, when Wyman takes on his old lady persona and has Edith Grabowski announcing she has given up sex, I couldn’t help but laugh. Wyman has used his voice to help us connect with these characters so well, that each time I heard a reoccurring character introduced, in Wyman’s chosen voice, I would have a Norm from Cheers moment, wanting to applaud their entry shouting out their name. There is just something special about returning to a beloved series, with a narrator you know is also a fan, who pulls out all the stops to do justice to the writing. When Elves Attack is a hilarious, slapstick Christmas Adventure that is full of heart and allows you to experience Christmas through the childlike eyes of our favorite serial killer.





Narrative Undertones: My Interview with Oliver Wyman

6 06 2011

owyman

There are some narrators known for their subtle pacing and subdued reading of the text. Then there are others like Oliver Wyman who just perform the heck out of a novel. Oliver has narrated over 100 audiobooks, including works by Lance Armstrong, Tim Dorsey, Joseph Wambaugh and David Weber. The Novel, Interface by Neal Stephenson and J. Frederick George, which Oliver narrated, was nominated for a 2011 Audie Award in the Thriller/Suspense Category. You can check out Oliver Wyman’s Audiofile profile and his About Me page.

 

 

Bob: Let’s start off simple… How did you get involved in the Audiobook business?

Oliver: About twenty years ago, I started to get a lot of work recording ESL programs– audio programs for people learning to speak English as a second language. You know, those tapes where someone says, "Excuse me, is this the soup spoon?" and the listener repeats it. Years later one of the producers that I worked with started doing audiobooks. At first I did a bunch of short stories, but then one day in 1999 that producer called me up and asked me if I wanted to record Lance Armstrong’s autobiography. Lance was meant to do it himself, but he cancelled at the last minute. Of course I said, "HELL, yeah".

 

 

     Bob:  You have narrated a wide variety of audiobooks, from memoirs and other non-fiction, to sci-fi and fantasy. Do you have a favorite genre of novel to bring to life? How do you differ your approach when you’re reading Lance Armstrong’s memoir as opposed to something like Practical Demonkeeping, where you’re voicing demons and Jinn?

Oliver: I’m a big fan of science fiction and fantasy really, but any well-written, character-driven fiction is a joy for me to record. My approach to Lance Armstrong’s book was simply to sound as if I were thinking all of it up as I was saying it. When I record fiction in the third person, I try to create a radio-play as much as I can; the theater of the mind, as they say.
 
 
Bob: There are some narrators who become the distinctive voice for the character, for example, Dick Hill is Jack Reacher, and most listeners would have quite hard time accepting anyone else in the role. Yet, there is something more happening whenever you read a Tim Dorsey novel. Tell me about your relationship with Serge, Coleman, and of course, Agent Mahoney. Along with that, you have to be kinda stoked at the thought of a Serge Christmas novel.

Oliver: I love recording Tim Dorsey’s books more than you can imagine. Channeling Serge is unbelievably cathartic– and I’m not kidding when I say "channeling". If you listen to the first one I did, Hurricane Punch, you can hear Serge’s personality take over. I had fully intended for Serge to have my own voice. And I think he does start out that way, but as he drinks more and more coffee over the course of the book, I felt compelled to keep up with his caffeine intake, and that and Dorsey’s words just changed my voice. There are people out there who really don’t like what I’ve done with the character. Someone once said that he sounds like Joe Pesci. He’s nothing like Pesci. He’s closer to Daffy Duck. That’s just the way I hear his voice in my head when I read it. As far as Coleman goes, I can’t deny it; he’s a flat-out impression of Ethan Suplee’s character Randy from "My Name is Earl". I admit it. But again, that’s just the way I hear the voice in my head. Same thing with Mahoney. I don’t ever have to think, "How would Mahoney say that?". It’s all right there in the words for me.
 

Bob: One of the reasons I consider you one of my favorite narrators, is that we listeners can often times hear how much fun you are having. You have provided some of my favorite audiobooks moments, including Serge’s self narration along with Coleman’s “Serge you’re doing it again” and the various Tolkenesque and Lovecraftian creatures of Larry Correia’s Monster Hunter series. Are their any particular moments in your narrating career that stick out for you?

Oliver: Several, really. Getting to record one of my very favorite books, Fred Pohl’s Gateway. Also, that book, along with James Frey’s A Million Little Pieces, Joseph Wambaugh’s The Black Marble, and Jeff VanDerMeer’s Finch, among a few others, have been particularly memorable because of the profound way the material affected me and my performance. Though recording the voice of the shuggoth in Larry Correia’s Monster Hunter Vendetta was certainly one of my favorite things ever. One of the reasons I enjoy working on science fiction and fantasy so much is that it gives me the opportunity to do outrageous character voices.

 

Bob: You have a term for actors that I find quite intriguing, which is “Psychic Vampires.” Are their any tricks or particular inspirations you use when having to perform in studio, as opposed to in front of a live audience?

Oliver: I don’t really have any tricks, I just try to say it the way I hear it in my head. When you’re working with good writing, it’s almost effortless. It’s when the writing sucks that I have to work hard at it. If there’s no characterization then I don’t hear the character’s voice in my head. My inspiration is just a head full of pop culture and subculture ephemera. For me, performing in front of a live audience is the opposite. That’s all about getting out of your head.
 

Bob: Let’s say you wanted to tell your life story, but you’re just to busy to do it. Who would your dream ghostwriter be, and who would you like to see narrate your memoir?

Oliver: Alan Moore would write it, and Dave Gibbons would illustrate it. The audiobook would be a multi-cast featuring narration by Stephen Colbert, and Tom Kenny would play me. My friends, family, and acquaintances would be played by David Cross, Jon Stewart, Patton Oswalt, Sarah Silverman, Brian Posehn, Amy Sedaris, Louis C.K., Catherine Tate, and Zach Galifianakis . With a score by Stewart Copeland and original music by They Might Be Giants.

Tom Kenny                                        Stephen Colbert
 

Bob: And finally, are there any upcoming projects, whether they are audiobooks or anything else, which you are excited about and would like to share with us?


Oliver: I’m just starting the third book in Larry Correia’s Monster Hunter series and then I’ll be working on Thomas Friedman’s new book. Outside of that, who knows? A Serge Christmas novel? That might just be the best Christmas present I get this year.





Seven Questions with Tim Dorsey

6 06 2011

Tim Dorsey is one of those authors I wait impatiently for every year for their new release. His madcap thrillers revolving around serial killer Serge A. Storms and his constantly stoned partner in crime Coleman are some of the funniest books you will read or listen to. Tim took some time out and answered seven quick questions for me about Florida, audiobooks, and the further adventures of Serge and Coleman.

You can check out my review of Electric Barracuda, and scan my Top 20 Audiobooks of 2010 which included Gator-a-Go-Go.

 

 

Bob: Some of my favorite writers call the Sunshine State their home, including Carl Hiaasen, James W. Hall, and Paul Levine. In fact, it seems like Floridian Thrillers have become a genre unto itself. What is it about Florida that lends it self to such unique characters and plots?

Tim: Frankly, reality. If you notice, many of the authors are current or former journalists, so we get to a more concentrated view of the weirdness, and we’ll never run out of material.

Bob Now, I read the first eight of your novels, up to the Big Bamboo, and then listened to the remaining five on audio. Often times, when I begin listening to the audio version of a series which I read the earlier editions, it takes me a while to adjust to the narrator as the voice of the main character. Yet, when I started listening to Oliver Wyman read Hurricane Punch, I was like, “Holy shit, that’s Serge!” Have you listened to the audio versions of your novels and if so how strange is it for you to hear your words being interpreted by someone else in an audiobook?

Tim: It’s pretty cool to listen to it, and it definitely is a bit strange. And probably even more so for the author, because you have the sound of your own voice in your head when you write. Maybe like seeing a movie with actors cast for parts you’ve invented.

Bob: It seems the “Hero Serial Killer” is becoming more and more popular. Yet, unlike sociopaths like Dexter, Serge isn’t brooding nor does he need sets of rules to restrain himself. Serge is just unapologetically Serge. What is your favorite part of writing a character like that?

Tim: I possibly shouldn’t admit this, but the best part is that Serge is the narrative of my unfiltered thoughts – I just listen and take dictation.

Bob: One of the reasons I think your books play so well is the little tricks you do with the characters, like Mahoney’s noir fantasies and Serge‘s manic cadence. One of my favorite audiobook moments is Serge’s penchant for self narration, listening to Oliver Wyman slowly transform from his narrative voice to his Serge voice with the eventual tag of Coleman saying, “Serge you’re doing it again.”  When you write do you ever consider how it will sound on audio? Have you ever considered playing tricks on the narrator, creating weird dialects or speech impediments?

Tim: I don’t specifically consider the audio version when I write, but I do like to play tricks with other media, like in Torpedo Juice where the narrator is an actual character himself.

Bob For those who are fascinated by Florida beyond its Disney Worlds and beaches, give me two books, two movies and two attractions that budding Floridiphile just cannot miss.

Tim: 92 in the Shade, Tourist Season … Scarface, Body Heat … Dry Tortugas, Ocean Drive.

Bob: Since hearing about an upcoming Tim Dorsey Christmas novel I haven’t been able to get the image of Serge as a Mall Santa out of my head. Without giving too much away, tell me what we can expect from When Elves Attack
.
Tim: Serge and Coleman buy elf suits and deputize themselves to roam around and help people take Christmas to the next level.

Bob: Beyond When Elves Attack, what is in store for Serge and Coleman?

Tim: "Pineapple Grenade" comes out in January. Serge decides to go to Miami and become a spy..

Those doing early Christmas Shopping, look for When Elves Attack: A Joyous Christmas Greeting from the Criminal Nutbars of the Sunshine State which will be released October 25th.





Audiobook Review: Electric Barracuda by Tim Dorsey

2 02 2011

Electric Barracuda (Serge A. Storms, Book 13) by Tim Dorsey

Read by Oliver Wyman

Harper Audio

Quick Thoughts: A manic, madcap romp through Florida, as only Tim Dorsey can do.

Grade: A

Electric Barracuda is the 13th novel featuring the wild and wacky Florida Serial killer Serge A. Storms. After 13 novels, you would expect a wide variety of situation, no matter how madcap, allowing you to get a glimpse of the ever changing demented mind. Well, we might as well be expecting free healthcare and lower taxes. With Serge, you basically get the same basic thing. Serge and Coleman dashing from one interesting Florida locale to another, telling a lot of the same jokes and doing a lot of the same insane (for Serge) and self destructive (for Coleman) stuff. Along the way Serge will come up with ever elaborate ways to kill the scum that seems to float to the top of the Sunshine State. Eventually, you’d think it would get old.

Well, it hasn’t yet. A Serge novel is like the worlds most amazing rollercoaster that you can ride when ever you want, but, once a year they make it even better. Yeah, Dorsey throws in some plot device that encourages Serge to do his thing, In Electric Barracuda, Serge is traveling throughout Florida blogging about his latest idea, Fugitive Tours, which will allow you to see Florida as you would if you were running from the law. While doing this, he is unknowingly being chased by the law. Along with that you have a corrupt lawyer, Mahoney still stuck in his noir fantasy world, a mystery man, Mikey (a special guest on his journey)  and a big surprise for Serge. Oh, and Coleman drinks, and takes the orange pill.

To make things even better, Oliver Wyman again performs the reading for the audiobook. Wyman handles a hell of a load taking on Serge and it truly is a marvel. His performance not only does the material justice, but I would argue makes the book even better. If you have only read a Serge Novel, and haven’t had the chance to experience it in audiobook form, then I urge you, take a chance and listen. You haven’t truly experienced the world of Tim Dorsey’s creation, until you have heard it read by Oliver Wyman.