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Naked Came the Florida Man

Review

Naked Came the Florida Man

It is hard to think of a better series than Tim Dorsey’s Serge A. Storms canon. One can pick up and read (or re-read) practically any of these books without worrying about the order and immediately be entertained. The primary characters remain true to form without a miss, and the secondary characters are always memorable, whether or not they are engaging. While the emphasis is on humor, Dorsey also demonstrates a masterful ability to create suspense at some point along the way.

The crazy-cat thread running through the series consists of the (relatively) sober but crazed Serge and his well-toasted pal Colman, who cross the state highways and back roads of Florida in search of attractions and distractions, famous and otherwise, while occasionally dispensing rough and fatal justice to conmen, rude dudes, animal abusers and other scum.

"At a minimum, this book will entertain you, as well as give you plenty of fodder for places to visit and see that you can add to your bucket list."

NAKED CAME THE FLORIDA MAN, the 23rd and latest installment, is no exception. The main plot involves Serge dragging Colman hither and thither on a tour of Florida cemeteries and gravesite memorials that are somewhat off the beaten track, including some areas that for one reason or another were thriving and famous several decades ago but are now almost forgotten. Serge dutifully preserves the moments with gravestone rubbings while remaining ever alert for those who demonstrate a need to be culled from humanity’s herd, which in this volume includes (but is not limited to) a gent who preys on senior citizens whose longevity has outpaced their financial nest eggs, resulting in their having too much month at the end of the money.

Serge --- or, if proper credit is given, Dorsey --- has been devising extremely inventive ways to dispatch two-legged predators to the choir invisible, and is in top form once again in NAKED CAME THE FLORIDA MAN. Even with all of that, Dorsey gives his readers much more than their money’s worth. As if creative homicide and fascinating historical and geographic trivia were not enough to draw one in, the narrative alternates in time between the present and a few years in the past, where two stories follow twin paths before intersecting and catching up with the book’s here and now.

One story concerns a contemporary pirate who surreptitiously absconds with treasure from previously established salvage claims. The other involves a girl who early in her life sets her sights on joining her local high school football team as a placekicker, a seemingly impossible goal. A legendary treasure connects the two, and not in a good way. Serge eventually makes his presence known, but it would be a heck of a story even without him.

There is so much in NAKED CAME THE FLORIDA MAN, including a short dissertation regarding the true cultural value of an iconic chain buffet restaurant and the cross-pollination between the author of a beloved children’s novel and... Well, I’ve prattled on a bit too long already. At a minimum, this book will entertain you, as well as give you plenty of fodder for places to visit and see that you can add to your bucket list.

Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub on January 10, 2020

Naked Came the Florida Man
by Tim Dorsey

  • Publication Date: January 7, 2020
  • Genres: Fiction, Humor, Mystery
  • Hardcover: 336 pages
  • Publisher: William Morrow
  • ISBN-10: 0062796003
  • ISBN-13: 9780062796004