Maybe you can't be too outrageous when the subject is Florida politics, but 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 he joined for a reelection 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. They 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
From Publishers Weekly
Florida politics get roundly skewered in Tim Dorsey's (Hammerhead Ranch Hotel) Orange Crush, a relentless farce about the battle for the Sunshine State's governorship between Republican incumbent Marlon Conrad and Democratic underdog Gomer Tatum. Conrad, completely beholden to special-interest groups, seems like a shoo-in, but an epiphany for Conrad when his reserve unit is posted to the Balkans changes everything. Would-be assassins, spin doctors, scandalmongers, bloodthirsty journalists, lobbyists and at least one serial killer (Dorsey regular Serge E. Storms) are along for the wild ride. Thoroughly cynical and over-the-top from the prologue to the "note on the type," it will produce laughs under many a beach umbrella.
Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.