Hammerhead Ranch Motel

Tim Dorsey, Author William Morrow & Company $24 (304p) ISBN 978-0-688-16783-7
HWith this followup to Florida Roadkill, Dorsey places himself in the ranks of Laurence Shames and Carl Hiassen as a writer of hilarious, violent farces set in Florida. A loopy energy fills this A-ticket trip among the bridges, sailboats, seedy dives, dysfunctional families and drug deals of Tampa Bay. In the prologue alone, a college student falls through the glass dome of the Florida Aquarium; aged but feisty Mrs. Edna Ploomfield fights a gun battle with a shotgun-toting drug dealer; coitally challenged playboy Johnny Vegas has his Porsche flattened by a truck; and a man in a Santa Claus suit torches a car on the Sunshine Skyway Bridge before jumping into the sea. Later, we meet Lenny, inveterate pothead and sometime 'gator wrestler, whose exploits turn up in the Weekly Mail of the News World; Alabama-bred blonde Ingrid Praline, whose ""giant Lolita package gave men hemorrhagic fever""; panicky pilot Bananas Foster; and many more zany characters. After Dorsey introduces a white Chrysler and a metal briefcase with $5 million in it, fans will not be surprised when demented killer Serge A. Storm of Florida Roadkill shows up, kicking off a long parade of crazies, most of whom end up in the motel of the title during a hurricane (and a VCR viewing of Key Largo) in the novel's wild finale. Until then, joke follows joke like a 50-car pileup, in a plot that can feel like a game of 52-pickup; it's as if Dorsey chopped up his narrative into one- and two-page segments, threw them on the floor and published them in the resulting nonorder. The story loops backwards and forward in time: halfway through the book, for example, come the scenes that set up the wild prologue. But Dorsey's temporal convolutions do not impede momentum: instead, they encourage readers to hang on for the ride. And a delightfully giddy ride it is, ending with the promise of more craziness to come. (Aug.)
Reviewed on: 07/31/2000
Release date: 08/01/2000
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FORMATS
Ebook - 384 pages - 978-0-06-183672-5
Mass Market Paperbound - 374 pages - 978-0-380-73234-0
Hardcover - 291 pages - 978-0-00-651306-3
Open Ebook - 384 pages - 978-0-06-116089-9
Ebook - 384 pages - 978-0-06-117159-8
Peanut Press/Palm Reader - 384 pages - 978-0-06-116094-3
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