If you want to know something about Florida, especially something really strange or weird, you need to read one or more of Tim Dorsey’s books. Many recognize the former Tampa Tribune reporter as knowing more about Florida than most fifth-generation Floridians.
Born in Indiana, his parents moved to South Florida when he was only one year old. Since he was only a baby, he qualifies for natural Floridian status by virtue of his arrival prior to the year 1965 and the fact he had no say in the destination his parents chose when they decided to flee Indiana. It is only Dorsey’s good fortune they chose Paradise as the destination of their immigration.
Somehow, Dorsey developed an incredible curiosity and natural love for all things Floridian. His mind is incredible as incredibly whacky. While working as a reporter for the Trib, he developed a couple of characters – Serge A. Storms and his buddy, Coleman.
Now, keep in mind Serge is not your regular or ordinary character from a novel. He is the funniest extension of Dorsey’s unbelievable imagination. Serge is a loveable, funny, down-to-earth persona who, like Dorsey, shares an unabashed love for the Sunshine State. He is also a bona fide serial killer. But, as Tim Dorsey explains, “He only kills people who need killing.” In other words, Serge only dispatches the bad guys in need of elimination.
As Serge and Coleman flit from one misadventure to the next, Dorsey fills in the space between the lines of his novels with the lore and history of the state better than any other writer who pens stories about Florida. If you knew nothing about the state of Florida before reading Dorsey’s books, after finishing the first one, you would have a pretty solid foundation on which to base a baccalaureate degree. Read two or three books, you might qualify for a master’s in Florida history. Finish all of Dorsey’s books and all you would probably have left remaining for your Ph.D. is to finish writing a dissertation. Dorsey would probably even help.
When you read the saga of Serge, you need to start Triggerfish Twist. Now, Triggerfish Twist is not the first of the books published in the story of Serge, but as Dorsey explains, there is the order of publication to the books, and a chronological order of books, or the order of the story. After Triggerfish Twist, Florida Roadkill is next, followed by Hammerhead Ranch Motel. By the time you finish the first book, you are going to be a Serge Storms fan. By the end of Florida Roadkill, you will be a connoisseur of all things Dorsey/Storms.