Review

Atomic Lobster

by Tim Dorsey

Tim
Dorsey’s work has always been informed by his canny, nasty
and very funny insight into the foibles of human nature in general
and the residents of South Florida in particular. Serge A. Storms,
his lovingly deranged, serial-killing anti-hero, is a sympathetic
character --- up to a certain, shifting, indefinable point ---
because of his victims. Serge picks nefarious drug dealers, purse
snatchers who prey on senior citizens, bullies and the decent folk
among us. Coleman, Serge’s sidekick, is a drug-addled
burnout, along to provide assistance as a homicidal go-fer, not to
mention occasional comic relief.


In ATOMIC LOBSTER, Dorsey brings back some old friends as well as
mortal enemies into the mythos, though familiarity with what has
gone before is not a prerequisite for enjoyment. Chief among them
is Jim Davenport, a human pushover doll whose encounter with Serge
in TRIGGERFISH TWIST left Davenport hoping that he’d never
see him again. A series of coincidences --- South Florida is just
one big small town, after all --- brings Serge and Davenport closer
and closer together until they wind up living on the same street,
and fortuitously so.


Tex McGraw, the nominal head of Florida’s meanest outlaw
clan, has just been released from jail and is hell-bent on revenge
against Davenport, who accidentally killed McGraw’s brother.
Meanwhile, Davenport’s daughter is engaged to be married to
an insufferable womanizer with no visible means of support other
than a rapidly depleting trust fund.


The Diaz Brothers, most famously characterized in HAMMERHEAD RANCH
MOTEL, are seeking a more lucrative source of income than is
possible as hotel proprietors. When one of them moonlights with a
moving company charged with relocating the Davenports to their new
home, you can see the collisions coming from a long way off. They
come quickly and furiously in ATOMIC LOBSTER, beginning with a drop
off of the Sunshine Bridge and ending aboard a cruise ship that is
no love boat, not with Serge A. Storms aboard. Oh, and speaking of
love, Johnny Vegas, the Accidental Virgin, is back as well. Does he
fare any better here than he has in previous works? Should you even
ask?


Dorsey skewers everyone here --- his descriptions of the people
boarding a cruise ship are worth the price of admission alone ---
and the manner in which he captures the unreasonable sense of
entitlement that seems to have possessed folks these days is
first-rate, simultaneously dead-on and hilarious. If ATOMIC LOBSTER
doesn’t increase Dorsey’s readership one-hundredfold
while sending both new fans and old friends scurrying for his
backlist, then nothing will.


   









Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub on December 22, 2010

Atomic Lobster
by Tim Dorsey

  • Publication Date: February 1, 2008
  • Genres: Fiction
  • Hardcover: 352 pages
  • Publisher: William Morrow
  • ISBN-10: 0060829699
  • ISBN-13: 9780060829698