I really did try to like it. I tried to laugh off the characters. I tried to wait for the author to start tying things together. But after about tw..Show More »o hours I gave up.
The first two hours of the book is a shaggy dog story filled with the most amoral people you can imagine. No, wait ... I could not have imagined people that amoral. The book just finally wore me down ... it wasn't funny enough to hold my attention, and those characters were just soooo depressing.
The narrator was clear, but his performance had all the warmth of a 1960 educational film.
I realize I'm in the minority with regards to this book... but if you can make it all the way thru the book then you are a better man than I.
If you're a lover of Tim Dorsey's manic Serge Storms series, it's probably enough to say that you won't be disappointed in this book. It's the second ..Show More »in the series, so you get to see the appearances of some characters that populate the later books, like the lovely ladies City and Country. Serge's sidekick Coleman has not yet been reincarnated (apparently killed in "Florida Roadkill" but there is a not-quite-so-stupid Coleman surrogate, Lenny Lipowicz. I believe this is the first appearance of the "Accidental Virgin" Johnny Vegas, a recurring character in the series.
If you've never read a Serge Storms book, then I have a recommendation for you: don't read this one first. Not because you'd be reading them out of order, that's not too important. I recommend you start with one narrated by Oliver Wyman. Come back to George Wilson once you're firmly hooked.
I've listened to a lot of George Wilson. I spent almost 24 hours with him in "Citizen Soldiers", and thought he was great in "With the Old Breed". What those two books, and many other Wilson narrations, have in common is they are factual narratives. Not too many ways to punch up the Battle of the Bulge.
Serge Storms is a maniacal character. George Wilson's portrayal of this zany character is like Richard Nixon impersonating the watermelon-smashing comedian Gallagher. He just doesn't know how to be crazy. And don't get me started on Wilson's rendition of the various shrieks and yells that litter the text. Or how he "sings" the song lyrics that show up from time-to-time.
Oliver Wyman, on the other hand, is the perfect characterization for Serge, Coleman, Lenny, and all the rest. He must know someone with some serious problems to capture them so well. And he surely has been a witness when someone hit a bong.
So, start with a Wyman story, then maybe mix them up, Wyman, Wilson, Wyman, Wilson ... I believe they each did about the same number of Audible's productions, so it will even out in the end.
By the way, if you're a fellow Floridian you'll recognize many of the places Serge describes in this series of books. When I was a kid we traveled all over the northeast part of the state, as that's where our relatives lived. Along the way we'd stop at Weeki Wachee Springs, the Alligator Farm, Saint Augustine, some old pirate bar whose name I forgot, and many, many more. They're all real, and Serge knows every detail of their histories. Some fun!
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 ..Show More »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.
As a former resident of Tampa, and aware of all the crime, reputation, boundary "wars", and perverse reputation for strip clubs and citizen-funded sta..Show More »diums, this book had me hooting! At best, Tampa is weird with a history of corrupt politics and bizarre planning. At worst, it was a haven for car-jackings, real estate scams, and home invasions. All this was coupled with the pseudo society perched on Bayshore Blvd., which did, indeed flood at the slightest rain. The car dealers are accurately portrayed, as would be the impossible plight of a transplanted mid-westerner. Perfect!
But fortunately there is the well-versed Serge, with his own strict and twisted code of honor. It is impossible not to learn a lot of Florida's checkered history when reading one of these books--a truly fascinating aspect to the read.
Dorsey is a Tampa resident who has an incredibly deft and humorous way of depicting the city's foibles, and those of its often misguided residents. This is one of the more hilarious of the Serge books, as it seems a bit closer to reality--bizarre as it seems. (The editor does need to make sure the narrator (not my favorite) knows the pronunciations of landmarks. The Don Caesar Hotel is a historical tradition, and not pronounced like "Caesar" in "Julius Caesar", but always pronounced "say-zar", with the emphasis on the "zar".)
There are three types of audiobooks that I find appealing: 1. Books I've read in print that I loved and wanted to revisit in audio format; 2. Books of..Show More » movies I loved and wanted to hear in their original literary versions; 3. Books that are fun. Stingray Shuffle falls into the latter category, a virtually can't miss category because the main criterion is that they are fun. And it is.A sub-genre of fun books are the Florida books of a notable number of authors. The one that I've read a lot of of is Carl Hiaasen. Tim Dorsey is Carl Hiaasen on steroids. Or drugs, more generically. The Stingray Shuggle completes a series of three books (the others are Dorsey's first two, Florida Roadkill and Hammerhead Ranch Hotel) in which his omnipresent protagonist, Serge Storms, pursues a cache of $5 million cash. In Stingray Shuffle, we find out why he wants the money.Among the three categories of audiobooks that I like to listen to, Stingray Shuffle ranks as a solid entry in the fun group. I've listened to some that I like more (Ready Player One, Book of Joe, Agent to the Stars, Hiaasen's Strip Tease), but I liked it just fine. The books that end up disappointing me are almost invariably books that don't fall into these three categories -- police procedurals, non-fiction, non-comic sci-fi.
This is a rollicking, free-wheeling, offbeat trip through Southern Florida. Your tour guide is the brilliant, charismatic, unbalanced and dangerous Se..Show More »rge A. Storms. In my opinion, it's worth a listen just for Serge's rants filled with non-sequiters and valid social criticism.
The story hops through time between Serge and his grandfather Sergio. It covers a lot of Florida history and is not afraid to talk about the mistakes and corruption as well as the triumphs and native beauty of the state.
If you don't mind constant references to drug and alcohol use, some bad language, sex, and vivid (if rather unhinged) social commentary, you'll get a kick out of this book. If any of those things bother you I'd recommend staying away because you'll be offended.
The most hilarious book I have ever read.
The comedy is silent ,it catches you by surprise
so that you have to go back to read it again.
<..Show More »br />Serge is hilarious and his sidekick.
If you don't have a sense of humor you may miss a lot.
George wilson is the very best narrator out there.
Bar None especially in torpedo Juice.
I will read this again and again which is not
Carl Hiassen can rest easy now that Tim Dorsey has taken up the mantle of nuttiest Florida Novelist-- and I mean that in a good way. If you could ever..Show More » cram the Marx brothers into a narrative, this would be it. Our hero Serge is at his sanest in this eighth foray into the weird world of a remarkably lovable serial killer (his victims are the kind of people most of us would like to strangle). Or he just seems saner this time because he is visiting Hollywood, where he blends well with the local sharks and wackos. I laughed out loud. Great narration. If you like this one, Audible has double-strength Serge in many more novels with no fall-off in quality.
I love all of Tim Dorsey's Serge Storms books, i have been listening to them in order of coming out on Audible. I loved the reader up until they cha..Show More »nged the reader starting with Hurricane Punch. The new reader is no Serge Storms. The original reader made all the character voices different. This new readers voice sounds the same for too many (not all ) of the characters. His voice does not sound like the Serge we know and love.
I was almost going to stop listening to the series because of this new reader. But the books are still funny.
Audible, please have the original reader brought back. The new one may be good for other books but NOT for Serge Storms
Not for everybody. I think Dorsey is a riot. As a mental health clinician, I see "Serge" walk into my office several times a day. Unfortunately, th..Show More »e real life characters aren't nearly as entertaining. SO maybe for me, Dorsey is therapy.
In my humble opinion, this is the best adventure since Hurricane Punch. There were several moments where I actually laughed out-loud (something a boo..Show More »k rarely offers). I really enjoyed the multiple threads and revisiting with some of my favorite characters from previous books. And a couple of excellent and unexpected twists make for an excellent Serge and Coleman installment. Thanks Tim and Oliver. I look forward to the next adventure.
I Don't Know about Joyous but Nutbars REALLY Fits!
Sometimes I wonder why I even bother to read the reader reviews -- because I decide to disregard their advice. For instance, many reviewers suggested..Show More » that a person totally new to the Serge A. Storms series of stories NOT start here. They said to start at the beginning, or at least listen to or read the first novel of the series before this book.
Well, I decided to ignore that advice and started here.
Other reviewers complained about the voice the narrator used for Serge. At first, it was a bit annoying, but after a short time I found that it really helped form a visual image of Serge in my mind much better than a less annoying voice would have. (In fact, I have since begun to listen (I'm just about halfway through) to Florida Roadkill and think the un-remarkable Serge voice there really does not help form a mental image of the character.)
Okay, this story does not include nearly as much Florida history and not as many crazy Floridians as the first novel of the series, but this book might fit into the series the same way the "between the Plums" fit into Janet Evanovitch's Stephanie Plum novels. It really doesn't matter. When Elves Attack is funny and quirky and made me "KNOW" I have to listen to the entire series as soon as possible. So, as soon as the speakers on my laptop spit out "We hope you enjoyed this book," I was at the Audible website to get Florida Roadkill. As soon as part one finished downloading, I started it playing.
It's going to be very hard to wait for credits to arrive to complete the collection. But ... my local public library doesn't have any of the Serge A. Storms novels available in audio, so ... **sigh** I'll have to be patient.
While I am waiting, I think I will listen to When Elves Attack at least one more time. :-)
Readers of this series will have to continue with this episode. New listeners would be better advised to start at the beginning of the series, but no..Show More »t completely necessary. As usual, Dorsey pokes at Florida issues, (violence and crime), and even some local Wisconsin political crazyness. Same great reader. He does an excellent job with this zanyness and the characters.