The Big Bamboo (Serge Storms Series #8)
  • The Big Bamboo (Serge Storms Series #8)
  • The Big Bamboo (Serge Storms Series #8)

The Big Bamboo (Serge Storms Series #8)

4.3 43
by Tim Dorsey

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"The world's most lovable serial killer is back, bringing together an Oscar-worthy cast of Sunshine State nut jobs with his insatiable passion for All Things Florida. During this latest cavalcade of nonstop felonies - from Tampa to Fort Lauderdale to Orlando - Serge finds time to resurrect his obsession with movies, particularly those showcasing his beloved home state… See more details below


"The world's most lovable serial killer is back, bringing together an Oscar-worthy cast of Sunshine State nut jobs with his insatiable passion for All Things Florida. During this latest cavalcade of nonstop felonies - from Tampa to Fort Lauderdale to Orlando - Serge finds time to resurrect his obsession with movies, particularly those showcasing his beloved home state. And he wants answers! Why aren't more films shot here? How come the ones that are stink so bad? And what's up with filming "Florida" scenes in California? Then there's the cryptic message from his grandfather, Sergio, telling him to go to Los Angeles to uncover a mysterious secret from the distant past. It's too much of a coincidence. It's fate." "Naturally, Serge, accompanied by his substance-sustained sidekick, Coleman, must immediately hop a transcontinental flight to straighten out Hollywood once and for all. But, of course, being Serge, his mission is sidetracked by perpetual detours to irresistible celluloid landmarks ...and intrigue. Meanwhile, in Burbank, production of what may become the most expensive flop in Tinseltown history is interrupted by the brazen abduction of the female lead. Meanwhile, a couple of midwestern dreamers head west for their shot at fame - and find it at the center of a celebrity murder investigation. And even more meanwhile, infamous studio heads Ian and Mel Glick continue to produce juggernaut high-grossing dreck, casting-couch perversion, and cocaine hijinks." But there's more. Much more. How is the Japanese mafia involved? The Alabama mafia? Is the castrating cult throwing a membership party? Will Coleman survive his binge at the Belushi hotel? Who can defuse the nuclear bomb? It all comes crashing together in a breathtaking climactic sequence that prompts an enthusiastic Serge to proclaim: "Two thumbs way, way up!"

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Having previously taken on dirty politics and corporate scandal, Dorsey now skewers Hollywood in his eighth over-the-top novel. Serge Storms (who insists he's not a serial killer because he gets no joy out of it; he's just doing his duty) strikes again (Torpedo Juice; Cadillac Beach; etc.) with his strung-out sidekick, Coleman. Serge's new obsession is insisting that his beloved Florida be represented accurately in the movies and he's even taking a crack at writing a screenplay. He and Coleman end up in L.A., where mayhem ensues, most notably the kidnapping and murder of starlet Ally Street. Dorsey's cartoonish characters include the Glick brothers, slimy, coke-snorting owners of Vistamax Studios; ruthless director Werner B. Potemkin, whose over-budget/behind-schedule blockbusters cost people their lives; and unscrupulous agent Tori Gersh, who uses a rape accusation to secure a leading role for her client. Incorporating Ed McMahon and the prize van, Japanese investors and a trip to the Playboy Mansion, Dorsey takes wacky to a new level that readers will either love or hate. The litmus test is whether readers laugh when Serge tells the nursing home mogul he's about to kill that there is good news: "I just saved a bunch of money on my car insurance." (Apr.) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Library Journal
The Big Bamboo is an actual cocktail lounge in Kissimmee, FL, that serves as a hangout for killer/conman Serge Storms and his disreputable friends, including dope-addicted sidekick Coleman. Yet most of the action in this eighth book (after Torpedo Juice) to feature hyper-lunatic Serge takes place in L.A., where Serge is hired to kidnap actress Ally Street. Because the book is a lampoon of everyone's worst impressions of Hollywood, it has a kind of slapstick humor that will keep readers grinning from the first page. The laugh riot really takes off when Serge puts a nylon stocking over his face, makes a film commentary, and sends it to a television news station as a kind of offbeat ransom note. This book has everything you'd ever want in a sleazy Hollywood B movie-immoral studio owners, high-maintenance actresses, the party that never stops, little guys trying to get their big break in film, the Yakuza, the Alabama mafia, freeway driving, and a big Hollywood finish on a movie set where all the forces finally come together. Howlingly funny! Rated R for language and adult situations. [See Prepub Alert, LJ 12/05.]-Ken St. Andre, Phoenix P.L. Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Just because Florida fanatic Serge A. Storms (Cadillac Beach, 2004, etc.) is crazy doesn't mean he's stupid, as he deftly demonstrates in Dorsey's latest romp. Vistamax is in deep doo-doo, as even Mel and Ian Glick, the coked-up twin brothers who run the studio, acknowledge. Their annual prestige production, All That Glitters, is a bazillion dollars overbudget, and director Werner B. Potemkin is demanding daily rewrites, the latest of which combines the attack on the Death Star with the parting of the Red Sea. Agent Tori Gersh is threatening to put the kibosh on the brothers' hobby of raping starlets unless they put Ally Street, her client and their latest conquest, in a leading role. But before you can say "Print it!," Ally disappears after a chat with Ford Oelman, a Vistamax prop man the Glick brothers fire after stealing his script. The property in question is a caper based on the Alabama scam run by Sergio Storms, granddad of none other than little Serge, who's come out West to explain to the film industry why films about Florida shouldn't be shot in Coronado. Of course, with Serge at the helm, quite a few other things get shot, as well as nail-gunned and slammed in car trunks, as he whips up a climax even Potemkin couldn't have anticipated. Less manic but more devious than previous outings, Dorsey's latest makes his freewheeling hero a bi-coastal phenomenon.
Cox News Service
“If you thought Tim Dorsey couldn’t get any wilder, think again...The Big Bamboo is the Armageddon of wackiness.”

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Product Details

HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
Serge Storms Series, #8
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 1.13(d)

Read an Excerpt

The Big Bamboo

A Novel
By Tim Dorsey

HarperCollins Publishers, Inc.

Copyright © 2006 Tim Dorsey
All right reserved.

ISBN: 0060585625

Chapter One

Nine Months Earlier

Serge sat in a grimy motel room along Tampa's Nebraska Avenue, banging away on a manual Underwood typewriter.

Coleman chugged a Budweiser and stared out the window at prostitutes and a bearded man pushing a rusty shopping cart full of curled phone books. There was no middle ground -- the section of town where motels rent by the hour or the month. Disagreements and unidentifiable thumps through thin walls.

Coleman tossed his empty aluminum can in the wastebasket, but it bounced out because the basket was already full of crumpled pages with "Scene One" at the top.

Serge ripped another sheet from the typewriter's spool, wadded it up and threw it in the corner.

Coleman popped another beer. "How's your screenplay coming?"

Serge inserted a fresh page. "Great. Almost finished. Guaranteed to make my movie career. All I need is the opening hook." He began typing again.

Coleman stopped chugging and lowered his beer. "How do you write a movie, anyway?"

Serge sighed and stopped typing. "Well, you begin by just letting your mind float. After a while, if you don't have any distractions, you enter an astral-plane dream state, where the scene you're writing becomes asreal as this desk." He slapped the top of the table.

Coleman killed the rest of the beer and tossed it in the corner. "Can I come with you?"

"Sure." Serge resumed typing. "But first you'll have to loosen all the bolts on your imagination."

"No problem." Coleman snatched a fat spliff from over his ear and fired it up. He blew a large cloud toward the ceiling. "Okay, I'm ready." He leaned over Serge's shoulder for a peek at the typewriter. "Where are we going? . . ."

Scene One

Nine Months Earlier

Klieg lights sweep the night sky. A bustling city street in black-and-white. Vintage automobiles from the '40s drive past the exterior of a popular bar in Morocco. A neon sign: serge's. The perspective segues inside. People drinking, gambling, singing along with the piano player. The camera zooms. A tall, debonair man in an immaculate white tuxedo appears from a back room. He moves through the crowd with panache and approaches the source of the music.

Coleman glances up from his stool: "Hey, Serge, look at me, I can play the piano!"

Serge fits an unlit cigarette between his lips and lets it droop.

Coleman, noticing his hands on the keyboard: "And I'm black!"

Suddenly, a commotion toward the front of the club. SS uniforms fill the entrance. Serge turns toward them with a penetrating gaze.

Coleman: "What is it, boss?"

Serge: "I don't like Nazis."

"Why's that, boss?"

"Goose-stepping never preceded any big laughs."

"What are you going to do, boss?"

Serge faces the door and grabs his crotch. "Master race this!"

The platoon draws its sidearms and charges. Serge and Coleman begin running but are quickly pinned down in the back of the club.

German captain: "Shoot them."

Soldiers raise their Lugers.

Coleman: "What do we do now, boss?"

Serge: "Damn. I wrote us into a corner."

A crumpled ball of paper bounced off the top of the wastebasket. Serge inserted a new sheet.

"That was a rush," said Coleman, looking at the joint in his hand. "I thought we were dead for sure."

Serge ignored him. Internal dialogue chattering in his head. He tapped furiously on his trusty Underwood, the kind Mickey Spillane would have used. Warm memories of the Old Florida washed over him like something that is warm and also washes over you.

Coleman popped another beer. "You mentioned something about a movie career?"

Serge was on a roll, typing like a machine. "I'm following the Sly Stallone formula -- write myself into a killer script, star in the movie, then get overpaid for hack work the rest of my life . . . I'm almost done."

Coleman walked up and looked over Serge's shoulder again. "But you're back on page one."

"It's all about the opening hook. After that, the rest writes itself."

"You got an opening hook?"

Serge ripped out the page and crumpled it.

Coleman fit the end of his joint into a roach clip. "Maybe you're hung up on location."

"Maybe you're right." Serge inserted another sheet.

"Wait for me," said Coleman. He began hitting the roach . . .

Scene One

Nine Months Earlier, the Lunar Surface

A rocket ship lands. The horn section of a Stanley Kubrick soundtrack builds in the background as the spacecraft's hatch opens dramatically.

Serge steps out, hands on hips. Coleman stands next to him with a Budweiser in the new ZX9 micro-atmospheric delivery system.

Serge surveys the horizon with thermogoggles. The orchestral music swells; kettle drums signal an epiphany.

Coleman stops sucking on the beer tube extending through the self-sealing port in the side of his space helmet: "See an opening hook out there?"

"Just an old black monolith." A crumpled ball of paper falls slow-motion into a crater.

Coleman clutches the tube in his mouth again: "What about a different time frame?"

Scene One

A Hundred and Nineteen Years Earlier

Horses' hooves thunder across the Wild West. A large posse seals off all escape.

Two outlaws squirm along the edge of a cliff.

Serge: "Who are those guys?"

Coleman peeks over the cliff at the water hundreds of feet below: "I can't swim."

Serge: "I have to go to the bathroom." He steps off the cliff

and into a seedy motel room.

Coleman sat down at the foot of a bed. "Why are we staying at this crappy place, anyway?"

"Inspiration," Serge yelled from around the corner. A toilet flushed. He came back out. "I thought some stuff might happen that would give me ideas . . ." He wandered to the window and stared outside at Nebraska Avenue. A car crashed. Gunshots echoed from an alley. A streetwalker in a cheerleading uniform pulled a switchblade on a pimp. Serge went back to his typewriter and sat down in front of an empty page. "Why can't I think of anything?"


Excerpted from The Big Bamboo by Tim Dorsey Copyright © 2006 by Tim Dorsey. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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