Coconut Cowboy by Tim Dorsey
It’s February, so it is time for another in the series of stories of Serge Storms (Feb 2015, Feb 2014), as he wanders the surreal landscape of contemporary Florida, a land rife with fraud, husksterism, craziness, and violence. Dorsey is of the “bunch of South Florida whackos” genre, along with fellow former journalists Carl Hiaasen and Dave Barry.
Dorsey’s stories are taken straight from real life, only slightly fictionalized, unfortunately. And he fills his books with an amazing array of real history and trivia from his beloved state of Florida.
This would all be fun and funny if it wasn’t so grim and violent. Dorsey is deeply angered by scammers, crooks, and liars who have despoiled the natural beauty of Florida, and violently abused the helpless and the innocent. In his fiction, he takes righteous revenge on countless low lifes.
Psychopath Storms is Dorsey’s revenger, and after all these years has never repeated a method for vengeance (and there will never be a shortage of people who deserve his attentions). Unfortunately, his methods (based on real life events in Florida) are gruesomely violent and unpleasant. The fact that the victims really, truly, deserve what they get cannot really make up for the horror he inflicts. (I’ll grant that in recent books, Dorsey has toned down the violence, leaving out the gory details in favor of circumspect descriptions. It’s still bad, but much less of a tutorial.)
I like these books, but I can’t recommend them for everyone.
And, fr the record, I’m never, ever going to Florida again!
- Tim Dorsey, Coconut Cowboy, New York, HarperCollins, 2016.
Sunday Book Reviews