Thursday, February 17, 2011

Electric Barracuda by Tim Dorsey

I am the perfect person to kick off the virtual tour for Tim Dorsey's thirteenth book, Electric Barracuda.  When I was in Florida, Tim appeared at every one of the Lee County Reading Festivals as a guest author.  He and I debuted the same year.  I was Chair of the Authors Committee for the first six years of the festival, and he appeared with his very first book, Florida Roadkill, and then returned with each of the following books.

Now, Tim Dorsey's books aren't for every reader, and that's a warning.  These are wild chases across Florida with Serge Storms, an antihero who kills pedophiles, and turns in cop killers while he himself runs from the cops with his sidekick, Coleman.  Coleman's high most of the time; the language is quite coarse; there's bathroom humor in the book.  At the same time, Serge is taking out bad guys while the cops, in Keystone Cop scenarios, miss capturing him by inches.  It's hard to dislike Serge.

Electric Barracuda finds Serge and Coleman crisscrossing Florida as Serge creates a Fugitive Tour of Florida.  On his website, he tells people how to enjoy the state by hiding out as a fugitive, and escaping from the cops.  To the chagrin of Agent White of the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE), Serge manages to keep people informed as to where he is in the state, but still remains one step ahead of the police.  They even add an additional member to the task force, an agent named Mahoney, who swore to bring Serge down.  Oh, but there are surprises in store for Serge and Mahoney both.

This book truly is a screwball comedy, but it also includes fascinating details about so many locations in the state.  Florida residents are Dorsey's biggest fans, since it's easy to recognize the sites and history of the state, every place from St. Petersburg to the small Gulf islands such as Pine Island.  I even recognized the names of the roads. Dorsey includes the state's unusual history including Al Capone, the Everglades, stories of the mob.  Every bit of Florida's odd history is fodder for Dorsey.  Even the other writers of the state are fodder for Tim, as Brad Meltzer becomes a crooked attorney, and Randy Wayne White shows up in a bar. 

Remember that warning.  Don't pick up Tim Dorsey's books if the language or crude situations will offend you.  But, if you like screwball comedies, understand that Florida really is as strange as Dorsey's books, and enjoy wacky situations and characters, you might want to try Electric Barracuda.  It's a book that even manages to surprise Serge Storms in the end.

Tim Dorsey's website is

Electric Barracuda by Tim Dorsey. HarperCollins, ©2011. ISBN 9780061876899 (hardcover), 357p.

FTC Full Disclosure - I received my copy of the book from the publicist in order to participate in the TLC Book Tour.


Bev Stephans said...


I always look to see what you are currently reading. When I saw the title, Electric Barracuda, I had to go to Tim Dorsey's website. I think he is channeling Serge Storms.

Do the books need to be read in order? If not, I would like to try this one.


Lesa said...


You certainly can start with this one. Within five minutes, you understand who Serge and Coleman are, and the other characters are easily explained in the book. So, try this one. You'll know soon enough if Dorsey's books are for you. Oh, yes. Either he's channeling Serge, or Serge is channeling Tim Dorsey, but I think it's the first one. Tim Dorsey is just a teddy bear.

Sharon said...

I became a Tim Dorsey fan after reading Triggerfish Twist. I've read all in this series...except this new one. I'm really looking forward to it!

Lesa said...

I talked to a patron today at the library, Sharon, who felt the same way you do. BIG Tim Dorsey fan, and he's waiting for this one.

trish said...

Serge sounds similar to Dexter, in that he's an antihero, but it's really hard to dislike him. I can see how Tim Dorsey would just be a riot to listen to.

Thanks for being on this tour!

Lesa said...

Thanks for including me, Trish. Yes, it is hard to dislike Serge, and no one but the police and criminals really seem to dislike him. Tim is special.

Lucky Cole said...

Electric Barracuda is my favorite novel by Tim Dorsey. It could be because I'm a real life character in the book. It's his 13th novel and 13 is my lucky number. I also get to spend allot of time with molly. The smoking hot redhead.
Lucky Cole Photographer

Lesa said...

Congratulations, Lucky! It's always fun to see your name in print, and to be one of the characters must really be special. I can see why it's your favorite.