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Whale Season: A Novel Hardcover – January 17, 2006


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Shaye Areheart Books; First Edition edition (January 17, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0307336778
  • ISBN-13: 978-0307336774
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 5.9 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,165,922 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

A late-night Christmas Eve card game with a Jesus impersonator triggers misadventures galore in Kelby's screwball comedy with a dark side. In the dinky town of Whale Season, a faded (and whale-free) Florida tourist trap, various citizens mull over the lows life's brought them to. Sheriff Trot Jeeter and his best friend/oldest rival, Leon, a used RV salesman, form a love square with Carlotta, Leon's erstwhile girlfriend, and Dagmar, the owner of a local strip club and Leon's ex-wife (Trot loves them both, but Carlotta most). After winning a luxury RV from "Jesus" in poker, Leon gets drunk and burns down his trailer; everyone figures he's dead. Meanwhile, Jesus (who's really a serial killer named Dr. Ricardo Garcia) has decided that Jimmy Ray (a musician at Dagmar's club—and likely her father) will be his next victim. The nonstop comedy jives weirdly with the characters' backstories and the threat of grisly murder, best exemplified during a scene in which Jesus vows to give Jimmy "the Hallmark Card of Death," Jimmy finally acknowledges his paternity and everyone, weeping with joy, decides to eat French toast. Shaggy, silly, a little bit soggy—but as a holiday diversion, this is mighty good fun. (It's also a big shift for Kelby, who, writing as Nicole Kelby, offered up the luminous, haunting In the Company of Angels in 2001.) (Jan.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

Floridian Ricardo Garcia thinks he's Jesus Christ. But the second-generation Cuban doctor is far from a saint. In fact, he's a serial killer. That's but one of the revelations in this quirky--and, at times, creepy--comic yarn set in fictional Whale Harbor, Florida (where there are, in fact, no whales). Kelby's -character-driven offering has a skimpy story line involving murdered senior citizens and a hefty sum of shrink-wrapped cash stashed in a stolen RV. The cast includes former cheerleader Dagmar, who runs a "Naughty but Nice" strip club, her ex-husband Leon, owner of Lucky's RV Round-up and a pretty good poker player (thanks to a strategically placed mirror), and Sheriff Trot Jeeter, an unremarkable man in a perpetual state of unrequited love. And, of course, there's stringy-haired Jesus, clad in a white sheet, with requisite scars on his upper forehead and the tops of his hands. No doubt some readers will find the idea of a slayer disguised as a savior a bit irreverent, but fans of Tim Dorsey's Serge Storms novels (also about a goofy serial killer) will feel right at home. Allison Block
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

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Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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This would make a great summer vacation read for anyone just looking for a good story.
Beckid
Sometimes I read a book, and all the characters are familiar, and that's comforting, especially if the plot is tense and/or twisted.
JP
My favorite aspect of this book was the strange array of character personel that Kelby created.
S. Keith

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By R. Kyle TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on March 1, 2006
Format: Hardcover
Chapter One starts out with a guffaw and you really don't stop laughing til you wipe a wry tear from your eye on the final page. Nicole Kelby's sense of humor isn't for everyone, but if you enjoy Christopher Moore, Terry Pratchett, or Jasper Fforde, you will probably love "Whale Season" as well.

Whale Season is the name of a town in FL that isn't visited by whales. The people who named the town did so to create a tourist trap, one of the first in the nation. But, fueled by enough beer and an inventive tourist guide, tourists have seen whales.

It's Christmas Eve and most of the town is at the local bar drinking peppermint schnapps. The town Sheriff, Trot Jeeter, is falling in love with his best friend's girl. That's nothing new, he's still carrying a torch for Leon's ex-wife, Dagmar.

Leon, the aforementioned best friend is playing poker at his RV dealership with Jesus--or at least a very good facsimile thereof. The dealership is on the line because Jesus is betting the American Dream.

That's an RV, by the way about $250,000 worth with gas mileage you can count on one hand. Fleetwood quit making the behemoth moving mansions about a year ago, but "The American Dream" totally fits the way out humor in "Whale Season." The novel's irreverant on the surface but the deeper message of faith and belief shines through.

"Whale Season" is not only worth reading, but keeping and dusting off for those occasions when you need a trip to somewhere where the sunset is pink as Pepto Bismol and the laughter as available as Florida sunshine.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Beckid on April 7, 2008
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I had to read this book for book club and was dreading it. It looked cheesy and didn't sound like anything I would enjoy. I was wrong. Once I started it, I was so amused and laughed out loud many times. I was also touched by the sweetness of it in parts. This would make a great summer vacation read for anyone just looking for a good story.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By S. Keith on July 23, 2007
Format: Hardcover
My favorite aspect of this book was the strange array of character personel that Kelby created. I was immensely compelled to read to the end of this book just to see the interacting of Jesus and Jimmy Ray, a character bond that made this book intensely worthwhile. This is a great book for anyone. I loved it.
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Susan O'Neill on January 20, 2006
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I love this book. Nicole Kelby is a marvelous writer. Anybody who's read Theater of the Stars will respect her ability to blend seamlessly the truth of research with the craft of fiction, while not neglecting her very human characters. Anybody who's read her first bright little gem of a novel, In the Company of Angels, will see how brilliantly, economically and affectingly her writing cuts to the heart of a matter.

Well. In Whale Season, she does it all--and she also indulges her marvelous, loopy sense of humor. The result is something rare: a novel with fascinating characters, a real storyline, a touch of mystery, a superb sense of place, a sneaky depth and relevance--all this, and the book is genuinely funny.

Read it for the craft, the story, the characters, the humanity, the laughs. Whatever. Just...read it.

Susan O'Neill

Author, Don't Mean Nothing: Short Stories of Viet Nam
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Format: Hardcover
Any book set in a town know as "Whale Harbor" which has no whales catches my eye. This one did.....

There are enough zany people in this town to rival Carl Hiaasen, but don't compare this author to him. She writes well in her own special way. Read her for her own special way of creating a town, and it's people....

Oh, and any town where the mayor is trying to find his "inner dog" rates well with me.

Read this book for great, funny and crazy fun. You will enjoy all the laughs.

P. S. Do not read in public....persons who laugh out loud at a book may be considered suspect.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Florida must have more than its share of crazy, zany, fun characters for the writers to jot down on paper...e.g., MacDonald,Franklin, White, Haasen, etc....Kelby's book was fun and enjoyable, and had a classic ending. She did excellent protagonist development, and a lot of the folks were strange, but lovable. I enjoyed it and would recommend it to others for an airport or beach read. Lots of fun and hidden wisom. Interesting and well worth the bucks and the time (which seemed to zoom by). Good job!
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