Praising Tim Dorsey’s tongue-in-cheek humor, the Miami Herald wrote, “Nobody, but nobody, writes like this guy.” Here Florida politics take the main stage in a rollicking satire that proves Dorsey’s at the top of his game. When a traumatic experience forever changes Florida gubernatorial race candidate Marlon Conrad’s life, he hits the road in a Winnebago to find the “real” Florida. But his odyssey is plagued with would-be assassins and cutthroat journalists.
©2001 Tim Dorsey (P)2011 Recorded Books, LLC
People say I resemble my dog (and vice-versa). He can hear sounds I can't hear, but I'm the one who listens to audiobooks.
I have read five books now by Tim Dorsey, some in print, some in audio. As much as I love them, I hesitate to recommend them, because they really are seriously over the top -- they are not for everyone. In Orange Crush, I have found the exception to that rule.
The other books center on Serge Storms, the lovable sociopath with an encyclopaedic knowledge of Florida. What sets Serge apart from all of the other sociopaths who people Dorsey's Florida is his unique moral compass. I knew Serge was not going to be the main character of Orange Crush (he does figure in as a side character), and I knew I would miss not having him be the protagonist.
But I was pleasantly surprised to find that Marlon Conrad was a capable stand-in for Serge in the moral compass department. Marlon is not deranged like Serge, just naive, despite being governor of Florida. But he regains his political sanity in a remarkable sequence set in war-torn Kosovo and proceeds through the rest of the book as if he is a sane version of Serge setting things right (without, however, the Rube Goldberg murders that are Serge's stock in trade, here left for another character to commit).
So overall, I would heartily recommend Orange Crush to both Dorsey fans and newbies. Fans, don't worry about Serge not being all there -- but fans and newbies alike will enjoy this send-up of politics, written a year after Florida botched the presidential election of 2000. Sure, a lot of the satire is easy-pickings, low-hanging fruit. But Dorsey does a nice job of skewering all points on the spectrum, going to the well-worn but tried-and-true territory of looking at the system from the point of view of a jaded politician having come to his senses.
Marlon, especially after he comes back from Kosovo with his senses newly intact. Serge is the obvious favorite in other books, because he's the one who always ends up doing the right thing, even if he often gets there from wrong angle. In this book, it falls upon Marlon to be that character, and while he is no Serge, he is perfectly capable of carrying this satire. Jack Pimento is also good, starting out as an innocuous staffer but sneaking up on you as you go along.
This is the third Dorsey book I've listened to that was narrated by Wilson, and I've heard a couple of other titles of his by other authors. There's a reason why he is such a prolific audiobook narrator -- he is the consummate pro. While I missed his always entertaining voicing of Serge, he does the other voices well.
This is a black comedy, a political satire. So moments that move you are not supposed to be in the offing. But the section in Kosovo is a complete departure for Dorsey, and much of it is in fact moving, as it is meant to be, since it moves Marlon to become a different kind of person, a better one.
This is possibly the most hilarious book I have ever read! I laughed so hard and so often that I was afraid the neighbors would call the guys with the butterfly nets.
It gets right into the heart of the political system (specifically Florida politics, but these days we can all relate.) It shines a bright light on all the dirty, hidden political tricks that we know are happening, but can't do anything about. If you've ever wanted to get a politician, lobbyist, news anchor, or rich person by the throat and shake them until their teeth rattle, you will love this book.
While it's basically shooting at politics, it also takes pot shots at a lot of other pet peeves we all have. For example, there is a scene with a guy trying to make an important phone call and getting stuck in the phone menu nightmare that is purely classic! I had to keep rewinding because I laughed so hard I would miss stuff.
If laughter is the best medicine, this should cure anything that ails you. This book, while part of a series, could be read without reading the others first, although some minor things will make more sense if you have.
The early part of the book is very much like the work of Carl Hiaasen which I love. But the story, well, there really isn't much of one. There were so many tangents that I had to give it up after a couple of hours.
There are some amazing twists that come together all through out the novel that makes me think I may have missed a few really funny ones. Very entertaining!
When Marlin's fiance decides to tell him the engagement is off because she has found someone see who appreciates her puppets. Since its his press secretary, they will be forever entwined anyway!
His voice and timing are extraordinary!
I enjoyed Hammerhead Ranch Motel. This was nowhere as good.
Almost shut it off with 5 hours left to go.
This will be my last Tim Dorsey novel.
Great sense of humor, but the jokes got old after a while. I hope the author knows that rich and ruthless Democrats exist in this world, but evidently only Republicans exhibit those qualities in this book.
Not sure. I like his style but about half-way through I couldn't wait for the book to end so I could start something else. (Vision impaired, so it's only audiobooks for me) The reader was excellent.
The dramatic turn of the candidate. It was unexpected
I almost got lost in the story after it moved from the opening pages to the deployment. It got a little boring and probably could have been better demonstrated there. The last part was very interesting and funny but some of the incidents made it less than believable.
I think George did an adequate job- nothing award-winning. He didn't "live" the characters like others I have heard.
Absolutely not. If I hadn't broken it up I might not have gotten through it.
I am going to listen to other Dorsey books, because I have been told that others are more enjoyable than this one.
Although I love the litany of Florida trivia and views of the slimy political underside of the state, this was more a ho-hum history lesson without any of the absurd Serge antics I love in Dorsey's novels. It was an unmemorable read, other than some of the factoids that really are wonderful.
"Dorsey has done it again."
Anarchic fun, not for the prudish or faint hearted. I recommend listening to the series. It does not matter which order, they are individual stories.
I want to go to Florida with Serge as my guide.
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