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The Riptide Ultra-Glide: A Novel (Serge Storms) Hardcover – January 22, 2013
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Top Customer Reviews
As usual, there are multiple plot lines swirling and intersecting at random and bizarre moments. It's nearly impossible to offer up a synopsis of the story, as the explanation sounds like a half-remembered dream that went off in ten different directions at once. In Riptide, you have a vacationing couple from Wisconsin caught up in the wrong hotel at the wrong time with the wrong people who have the wrong luggage. The wrong people are drug pushers and oxy pill mill criminals, who are also dueling amongst themselves to run the Florida business. Serge and Coleman make their appearance, filming Serge's idea for a reality show (that would be Serge's reality, which is stranger than fiction) and doling out justice for those who are tearing down the fabric of society's sense of common decency and fair play. At least that's what Serge is doing... Coleman is just downing any and all drugs and booze that he can lay his hands on.
The reason I like Dorsey's novels is that I'm in awe of how he can have so many characters and scenes that keep interacting with each other at random and unexpected times. It's not so much the cohesiveness of the story as it is the continual twists and intersections. How he can keep it all straight (or even conceive of how it will unfold) is beyond me, but I'm willing to just sit back and go with it for the enjoyment of the ride.
If you're a fan of Dorsey's work, Riptide Ultra-Glide will deliver a few hours of entertainment in a way that only Serge and Coleman can provide. I enjoyed the read, even though it seemed to be over much too soon.
Obtained From: Library
Dorsey's work has always been uneven, but at first this one reads like classic Serge & I loved it. There's a treasure trove of Florida history, local color & general drug-related silliness (want to know the best places to hang out & drink along US Highway 1? Where Jimmy Buffett got the idea for "Desdemona's Building a Rocketship"? Why you should always use sunscreen & never use heroin? Look no further). There's the vicarious enjoyment of seeing Serge do away with the usual assorted aggravating & vicious petty & not-so-petty bad guys that trawl & crawl along the highways & byways of Florida (dance instructors who rip off elderly ladies, beach thugs, ATM bullies, miscellaneous interstate drug traffickers), using wonderfully creative & entirely plausible Rube-Goldberg-type contraptions made of parts acquired from bait shops & Radio Shack. And fans of Serge's sidekick, the perpetually drug-addled Coleman, will be delighted to see him step up to the superstar status we have always known he deserves.
But.... It appears that Dorsey should have handed over the job of plotting this one to Serge. Previous books (Hammerhead Ranch Motel, Cadillac Beach) were complicated, but all the loose ends ended up woven neatly together & everybody went out with a bang. The story here just falls apart & fizzles out. The conclusion makes absolutely no sense whatsoever (after you finish the book, go back to the beginning of Chapter 31 & read it again & you'll see what I mean) & doesn't play fair with the reader. Looks like Dorsey couldn't figure out what to do with his characters or his plot, so he just sent them off into the sunset with the intention - I presume - of bringing them back for a sequel. In the meantime, I want the last ten percent of my money back.
I just couldn't get in sync with this book. For one thing Dorsey seemed to experience imagination burnout too often. One example: (Spoiler alert)! Serge's first victim is a man who is guilty of merely being rude at an ATM. Pretty lame stuff. Dorsey is capable of better. Another victim is guilty of only being obnoxious at the beach. Dorsey pours it on with this character but it still boils down to only being a jerk on the beach. Maybe Serge needs to get back on his meds.
It seemed like all the characters just didn't mesh well either. There was a key character missing there somewhere. Someone to tie it all together. Also as pointed out by another reviewer it at times felt more like a Coleman book rather than a Serge book.
I could go on but you get the point. It's an okay book but just okay.
I like Dorsey and will certainly look forward to more books in the series. I think he just didn't hit the bell this time. This will happen with any writer. Especially one who writes a series. Better luck next time, Tim.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
My husband is a major Tim Dorsey fan, and this book delievered againPublished 18 hours ago by Cookie
I love Dorset and have been reading him since his first book came out. Great lead charter in Serge Storm and his side kick. Read morePublished 3 days ago by John Reinhardt
Is good but there has been way better Serge novels. The plot is as crazy as always but the end is a little predictable. Read morePublished 6 days ago by One
I will buy shoes from your ventor again. I also will check out this authors other books.Published 3 months ago by Regina Misner
Great read, Tim Dorsey never lets down. Serge and Coleman are two of the best characters ever created. Read itPublished 7 months ago by Marc Powell
This book was an interesting book about Serge's protecting two tourists from Florid's worst. It also had some of the more interesting ways of eliminating bad guys.Published 7 months ago by salligator