I love reading Tim Dorsey novels, but I really struggle to review them. How do you describe a story where a murder victim is found with no internal organs, fishermen are wandering around Miami with a dead shark, one of the main characters is using a prosthetic leg found on the beach as a bong, and two vigilantes dressed as superheros are ridding the world (or at least Miami) of car-jackers? And that's in the first 15 minutes of reading... Dorsey's latest, Pineapple Grenade, follows the crazy adventures of Serge Storms and his continually stoned sidekick, Coleman, as Serge starts his new life as an international spy-for-hire.
In the most current adventure, Serge gets it in his head that he's going to become a spy. Not that anyone has hired him, mind you. He just starts "spying" in obvious ways to catch the attention of various CIA groups and different embassies. His strange (but normal to him) activities stand out because a major summit of Latin American leaders is about to happen in Miami, and everyone has security on their mind. So while everyone has Serge on their radar, no one knows exactly who he's working for. Is he part of the network of one of the small countries? Is he being run by one of the CIA groups competing with each other for territory? Even the different groups themselves don't know if Serge is working for them as part of a power play by opposition within their ranks. There's a good chance that Serge doesn't even know who he might be assisting.
And then there's Serge's sidekick, Coleman... who is blissfully stoned and agreeable to anything... so long as there's more beer or weed coming.
For me, Dorsey novels are an escape into a world of bizarre entertainment while getting some not-so-subtle commentary on how people in Florida roll. Yeah, it can be over-the-top at times... actually, it's more a case of *how high* the over-the-top it's going to be. Dorsey creates some of the most strange, funny, and disturbing contraptions and setups for how Serge balances the scales of justice. The fact that he can even think these things up should worry people... :)
There's one other aspect I enjoyed in this (and every other) Serge novel that Dorsey writes. Every disconnected observation and sideshow that happens somewhere during the story will, in most all cases, reappear at the end during the climactic finale. From a writing perspective, I'm not sure how he can keep that many thread straight and wrap them at the end, but it's fun to watch it happen.
Pineapple Grenade was a bit more confusing to me than other Serge novels, but I still enjoyed the read. If you want a few hours of crazy entertainment and plot twists that never stop, this novel will deliver.
Thomas Duff, aka "Duffbert", is a long-time member of the Lotus community. He's primarily focused on the development side of the Notes/Domino environment, currently working for a large insurance … more
Consider the Source
Use Trust Points to see how much you can rely on this review.
“A successful blend of high stakes thriller action a la Miami Vice with laid back beachcombing style.” (Denver Examiner )
“A “guy” book, a real “man’s man” kind of novel. But kind of fun for the ladies to enjoy as well - they kind of give women an insight into the weird, wonderful way a man’s mind works when the boys are let loose with their toys.” (Ventura County Star )
“Bestseller Dorsey dishes up his Miami mayhem with a side order of mordant wit … neither Dorsey’s fast-paced prose nor his delight in skewering human foolishness has lost its mischievous sparkle.” (Go386.com )
“Dorsey fans clamor for Serge. Dexter just can’t compete with this guy. For non-stop spy-jinks and neo-crusted cackles, head down to Miami for Tim Dorsey’s explosive Pineapple Grenade.” (Miami Herald )
“A rollicking ride” (All Good Things and More )
“Pineapple Grenade displays Dorsey’s talents as a comedian, a Florida historian, a political and social commentator, and a well-seasoned writer.” (Gainesville Times )
“Pineapple Grenade is a topsy-turvy, slap-happy romp through Florida.” (Sun-Sentinel )
“Hilarious” (Oklahoma City Oklahoman )
“Up a notch … Dorsey’s 15th pits Serge against what may be the only folks as dysfunctional...