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The Riptide Ultra-Glide: A Novel (Serge Storms) Hardcover – January 22, 2013
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Top Customer Reviews
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.
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
I would rewrite the story from about half way down as it was that good until then....the rest was torture similar to the treatment Serge gives his victims.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I love Tim Dorsey's writing.
I friend purchased his first books for me as a gift, kinda as a joke because I am one of those weirdo Floridians. Read more
I have read about every Serge book and loved them to different degrees, this one I really cannot praise, it was slow moving, I could hardly pick it up it was just boring. Read morePublished 3 months ago by JRS
I enjoy reading about the adventures of Serge Storms and his mellow side-kick Coleman.Published 3 months ago by ldeyo
The antics of Serge and Coleman makes you want to bow and pray that you never run into a pair like these two, its like a demented "Laurel & Hardy, or Abbott & Costello" If... Read morePublished 5 months ago by Terrell Cooper