When Tim Dorsey sat down to write his first novel, the hilarious and hugely successful Florida Roadkill, he killed off way too many people. Now he needs them back. So in Triggerfish Twist, Dorsey invites us to take a warped trip back in time as he reunites the living with the soon to be very dead.
And for the uninitiated, what a perfect place to start! Set during the summer before Roadkill's pyrotechnic climax, Dorsey's fourth novel is a fond and perverse antirhapsody to the typical Florida neighborhood as seen through the eyes of Jim Davenport, a mild-mannered Midwestern family man whose company transfers him to the Sunshine State. When he purchases a lovely tropical villa on the equally idyllic Triggerfish Lane, his family appears to have found paradise.
But it is a long, hot summer, and soon the layers are peeled back one by one to reveal that all is not right in utopia. Yuppies with pit bulls, hot-rodding pizza deliverymen, Machiavellian used-car salesmen, Rastafarians who refuse to smoke dope, floating pawn shops on Crack Street, neighborhood crimewatch teams running for their lives, after-midnight clientele at twenty-four-hour supermarkets that put zombie movies to shame, unnatural sex, casual violence, gore, blasphemy, and people who write checks at convenience stores.
It all becomes too much for Jim, and before this peaceful Indiana farm boy knows what's happened to him, he's gone and killed someone. Of course, the odds are, it was someone who richly deserved it, and police officially rule the homicide extremely justified.
Unfortunately for Jim, he has killed the youngest of the infamous McGraw Brothers, who got released from prison near a NASCAR track in Alabama and are heading south, bent on revenge.
Not enough, you say? Okay, Serge Storms and his cohorts Coleman and Sharon are forced to move when the latter two burn down several blocks of Tampa's historic Latin Quarter during a wacky binge of freebasing high jinks. They naturally rent a house across the street from the Davenports, and Serge decides to take Jim under his wing, determined to teach him the local history and the secrets of satisfying a woman.
The McGraw Brothers continue south.
Sharon hallucinates on coke.
Coleman refills his beer helmet.
Serge becomes a Little League coach.
And when the confluence of people and events is just about to boil over, everyone converges on Triggerfish Lane for the big Fourth of July block party, setting the stage for another knee-slapping bloodbath.
It's just another day in Dorsey's paradise....
"synopsis" may belong to another edition of this title.
Tim Dorsey was a reporter and editor for the Tampa Tribune from 1987 to 1999, and is the author of nineteen other novels: Coconut Cowboy, Shark Skin Suite, Tiger Shrimp Tango, The Riptide Ultra-Glide, Pineapple Grenade, When Elves Attack, Electric Barracuda, Gator A-Go-Go, Nuclear Jellyfish, Atomic Lobster, Hurricane Punch, The Big Bamboo, Torpedo Juice, Cadillac Beach, The Stingray Shuffle, Triggerfish Twist, Orange Crush, Hammerhead Ranch Motel, and Florida Roadkill. He lives in Tampa, Florida.From Publishers Weekly:
Conjuring up Carl Hiaasen and Elmore Leonard on crack, the fourth off-the-wall novel from Dorsey (Orange Crush) finds antihero Serge Storms a quixotic, socially conscious crook-cum-executioner undertaking to salvage his upscale Tampa neighborhood from encroaching undesirables. Milquetoast Jim Davenport, an unlikely corporate hatchet man at the Indiana office of Apollo Consulting, a company specializing in downsizing the executive suites of top-heavy corporations, is promoted and moves with his wife, Martha, and their three kids to 888 Triggerfish Lane in Tampa. Always a step ahead of the law, Serge moves in across the street with his drug-fiend lackeys, Coleman and Sharon. Then, like popcorn in a microwave, all manner of zany subplots go spinning off as Jim accidentally kills the youngest of the notorious McGraw Brothers, newly released from prison. Florida special agent Mahoney, who has a vendetta against Serge, is dispatched to Tampa to stop a murderous crime spree that reeks of the McGraw clan. Meanwhile, the E-Team a quartet of elderly women whose first names begin with "E" stalks elderly Ambrose Tarrington III, who pretends to be wealthy by test-driving fancy cars and photographing himself in front of a luxurious mansion. John Milton, an ill-starred substitute teacher desperately trying to find a job, meets his nemesis, Rocco Silvertone, during a stint as a used-car salesman. As the surviving McGraws close in on Jim, a July 4 barbecue brings the cast together for a madcap denouement that will please the growing numbers of the Dorsey faithful.
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