cover image The Big Bamboo

The Big Bamboo

Tim Dorsey, . . Morrow, $24.95 (336pp) ISBN 978-0-06-058562-4

Having previously taken on dirty politics and corporate scandal, Dorsey now skewers Hollywood in his eighth over-the-top novel. Serge Storms (who insists he's not a serial killer because he gets no joy out of it; he's just doing his duty) strikes again (Torpedo Juice ; Cadillac Beach ; etc.) with his strung-out sidekick, Coleman. Serge's new obsession is insisting that his beloved Florida be represented accurately in the movies and he's even taking a crack at writing a screenplay. He and Coleman end up in L.A., where mayhem ensues, most notably the kidnapping and murder of starlet Ally Street. Dorsey's cartoonish characters include the Glick brothers, slimy, coke-snorting owners of Vistamax Studios; ruthless director Werner B. Potemkin, whose over-budget/behind-schedule blockbusters cost people their lives; and unscrupulous agent Tori Gersh, who uses a rape accusation to secure a leading role for her client. Incorporating Ed McMahon and the prize van, Japanese investors and a trip to the Playboy Mansion, Dorsey takes wacky to a new level that readers will either love or hate. The litmus test is whether readers laugh when Serge tells the nursing home mogul he's about to kill that there is good news: "I just saved a bunch of money on my car insurance." (Apr.)