Review

Torpedo Juice

by Tim Dorsey



You'd have to be crazy to live someplace that could have four
back-to-back hurricanes. But then it's probably not the hurricanes
that draw people to South Florida. There's something about what a
perpetually sunny if occasionally murderously windy climate does to
people that provides the fodder for writers like Carl Hiaasen, Dave
Barry (wearing his fiction hat), and Tim Dorsey.

TORPEDO JUICE, Dorsey's sixth novel, provides yet another welcome
and wonderful excursion into the land famous for oranges, gators,
an animated rodent, hanging chads, and the aforementioned
meteorological phenomenon that causes shopping malls to swap
roofs.

Before you're forty pages into Dorsey's latest effort you've
encountered a menagerie of loopy characters. Chief among them is
Serge A. Storms, a rather charming, intelligent, and likable
homicidal maniac who rescues a couple of vacationing retirees from
a lowlife who has barged into their hotel room to clean out their
cash. Shortly thereafter Serge turns an MRI machine into an
instrument of street justice. The result is the definition of
"fiendishly clever," and leaves homicide detectives trying to
figure out why the body they've found has exit wounds only. From
there things take a turn for the strange, as Serge hooks up with a
perpetually stoned pothead named Coleman and embarks on a quest to
find a marriageable girl.

Dorsey is an undeniably funny writer, with a remarkable knack for
wringing laughter out of situations that might otherwise make
readers squirm. He revels in the bizarre, and his characters always
seem to be at the center of swirls and eddies of weirdness, like
that cloud of dust that accompanied Pigpen in Charles Schultz's
"Peanuts" comics. But Dorsey pulls this off without descending into
silliness. This is funny stuff, made even funnier by virtue of its
underlying darkness.

TORPEDO JUICE is my first exposure to Tim Dorsey, which is too bad
because now I have no choice but to go out and buy his six previous
books. But no sacrifice is too great when it comes to overloading
my already straining bookshelves with stuff that is well worth
reading. Besides, the added weight will keep the shelves in place
here on the North Coast if Lake Erie ever produces a
hurricane.

Reviewed by Bob Rhubart on January 23, 2011

Torpedo Juice
by Tim Dorsey

  • Publication Date: January 18, 2005
  • Genres: Fiction
  • Hardcover: 336 pages
  • Publisher: William Morrow
  • ISBN-10: 0060585609
  • ISBN-13: 9780060585600