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Hammerhead Ranch Motel (Serge Storms) Mass Market Paperback – May 29, 2001
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In his first book, Florida Roadkill, Dorsey introduced us to several characters who are still at large as his second story begins. Serge A. Storms is a spree killer and Florida history buff, still looking for the five million dollars that's stashed in the trunk of a Chrysler--unbeknownst to the driver--somewhere in the state. Johnny Vegas is a playboy who, because catastrophic events always seem to get in the way, has yet to lose his virginity. Also along for the zany ride is 90-year-old Mrs. Edna Ploomfield, who blows away a man delivering her flowers and chocolates; a DJ who changed his name legally to Boris the Hateful Piece of BLEEP so that he would not be BLEEPED on the air every time he used the name; and Safety Officer Chester "Porkchop" Dole who watches the monitors on the Sunshine Skyway Bridge. Along with a dancing Chihuahua who forecasts the weather, the Diaz Boys, Harvey Fiddlebottom, undercover cops, and a variety of oddballs, they will congregate in or around the seediest place never to have been shut down, the Hammerhead Ranch Motel on the Gulf of Mexico. There, they will play out their lunacy as Hurricane Rolando-berto bears down on them. This is a wonderful summertime read, relentlessly funny and impossible to put down. --Otto Penzler --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From Publishers Weekly
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
If you're a fan of any of the above, and especially of Hiaasen, then you'll like Dorsey too, especially this book. I rank this novel with the best of Hiaasen, and in fact it's probably the best thing I've read in the genre in some time.
I would recommend you read Florida Roadkill first, as some of the same characters appear also in Hammerhead Ranch, especially Serge, who I would also say is the most memorable character to come along since Skink in Hiaasen's books. As another reviewer here said, one can't help but wonder what would have happened if Skink had met Serge.
Florida Roadkill is also excellent, but Hammerhead Ranch is even better, but it's still worthwhile reading as it's sort of a prequel to Hammerhead Ranch. Not the least of its merits is that the character, Serge, is introduced in Florida Roadkill, and has a major role in both books.
There are many similarities between the two authors, perhaps not surprising since they write for neighboring newspapers in south Florida. If anything, Dorsey's books are even more darkly satirical than Hiaasen's, and I would also say his books are more violent too. There are lots of bad guys in his books, and very few good guys. The bad guys are always scamming, swindling, and otherwise preying on each other, and as there's no honor among thieves, the dead body count in a Dorsey book is pretty impressive by the time you reach the end.
To sum up, this is a very funny book, and the book's main idea is really great, so I'll describe it briefly here. Almost every room at the Hammerhead Ranch is occupied by some sort of criminal, ranging from low-life scumbags to more high-powered criminal elements, who are using the Ranch as their base of operations. Several of the residents are trying to find each other so they can steal the money in the briefcase (you'll be hearing plenty about the briefcase) but don't yet know that they're both operating out of the Ranch.
Anyway, Dorsey came up with a great idea and makes the most of it to create a very funny book. Definitely worth your time and money.
Being a Tampa native, I was once again drawn in by Dorsey's descriptions the city and the surrounding areas. It's as if the AAA Travel Club rep shotgunned a six-pack of Surge before sitting down to write a travel guide. Completely enthralling and at times hysterical, I thought I was walking the streets of my hometown all over again.
Though it's not as completely off the charts of lunacy as "Florida Roadkill," it's still a frenetic, wildly entertaining read.
Bring on the next one!
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