Orange Crush (Serge Storms Series #3) [NOOK Book]

Overview

The Republicans' "golden boy" -- and a loyal, unquestioning tool of the powerful special interests -- handsome, unthreatening, Florida governor-by-default Marlon Conrad seems a virtual shoo-in for re-election. That is, until he undergoes a radical personality shift during a bloody military action in the Balkans. Now it's just three weeks before the election and Marlon is suddenly talking about "issues" and "reform" as he crosses the length and breadth of his home state with an amnesiac speechwriter and a chief of...

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Orange Crush (Serge Storms Series #3)

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Overview

The Republicans' "golden boy" -- and a loyal, unquestioning tool of the powerful special interests -- handsome, unthreatening, Florida governor-by-default Marlon Conrad seems a virtual shoo-in for re-election. That is, until he undergoes a radical personality shift during a bloody military action in the Balkans. Now it's just three weeks before the election and Marlon is suddenly talking about "issues" and "reform" as he crosses the length and breadth of his home state with an amnesiac speechwriter and a chief of staff who turns catatonic in the presence of minorities. The governor's new-found conscience might well cost him the election, though. And it appears that pretty much everybody from Tallahassee to Miami Beach is trying to kill him...

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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
Tim Dorsey, author of the hysterical novels Florida Roadkill and Hammerhead Ranch Motel, gives his fans another outrageous, bawdy, and raucous tale in Orange Crush. Once again we’re taken on a tour through the dark heart of Florida as gubernatorial candidate Marlon Conrad goes off the deep end and winds up touring in a campaign bus gaudily ornamented with a giant Orange Crush logo. Story threads involving a bizarre serial killer hooked on the folklore of Florida and Marlon’s opponent Gomer Tatum, who wants to win the race by holding a WWF death match, also keep this sardonic novel running in high gear. Orange Crush offers satirical situations, laugh-out-loud dialogue, and plenty of action that will win this popular author even more diehard fans.
Orlando Sentinel
Tim Dorsey stirs up an elixir that even Big Sugar, with all its political clout, could not make more sweet.
July 8, 2001
Miami Herald
Nobody but nobody writes like this guy.
July 22, 2001
St. Petersburg Times
Dorsey spares almost no one in his third novel, and that's what makes Orange Crush so wickedly refreshing.
July 8, 2001
Tampa Tribune
Dorsey has emerged a leader ... in the parody/satire/humorist business.
July 8, 2001
Sarasota Herald-Tribune
Florida crime fiction has its stars ... Dorsey, with yet another consistently entertaining page-turner, may be stealing the franchise.
July 1, 2001
Publishers Weekly
Florida politics get roundly skewered in Tim Dorsey's (Hammerhead Ranch Hotel) Orange Crush, a relentless farce about the battle for the Sunshine State's governorship between Republican incumbent Marlon Conrad and Democratic underdog Gomer Tatum. Conrad, completely beholden to special-interest groups, seems like a shoo-in, but an epiphany for Conrad when his reserve unit is posted to the Balkans changes everything. Would-be assassins, spin doctors, scandalmongers, bloodthirsty journalists, lobbyists and at least one serial killer (Dorsey regular Serge E. Storms) are along for the wild ride. Thoroughly cynical and over-the-top from the prologue to the "note on the type," it will produce laughs under many a beach umbrella. ( July 10) Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
Library Journal
Dorsey (Florida Roadkill) does it again with his latest screwball novel. Republican Lt. Gov. Marlon Conrad is a shoo-in for the next Florida gubernatorial race, thanks to a fortunate twist of fate, a wealthy father, and well-connected friends. He thus considers it an advantage when his army reserve unit is called up for a peacekeeping detail in Serbia, where a traumatic experience changes his entire outlook on life. When the campaign begins to heat up, he ditches security and hits the road in a secondhand Winnebago, garishly painted with the Orange Crush logo. Dorsey's oddball crew of characters includes the serial killer Serge A. Storms, of Florida Roadkill fame, and Conrad's political opponent, Gomer "Boo-Book" Tatum. The result is manmade pandemonium, with Conrad outwitting the security guards, playing to the masses, dodging assassination attempts, and leaving a trail of dead bodies in his wake. Dorsey takes this opportunity to laugh heartily at his home state's electoral policies and recent political foul-ups. For most libraries. Thomas L. Kilpatrick, Southern Illinois Univ. Lib., Carbondale Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
An accidental Florida governor gets political religion and steers a virtuous reelection campaign through the roadside stands and swamps of the state that gave us both our current president and Pee-Wee Herman. How many subtropical grotesques can you cram into one candidate's Winnebago? In Dorsey's Sunshine State you can apparently grab any five people off the sidewalk to populate a novel, since there seems to be no one just walking around unmedicated. Absolutely everyone here is way over the top, whether it's Jackie, the trailer-park tart hard-charging on her way to the first ladyship; Babs, her ventriloqual competitor for the mansion in Tallassee, the epically corrupt state legislature, or the airheaded news anchor chasing his story in a blimp. Former newsman Dorsey (Hammerhead Ranch Motel, 2000) packs a recreational plot vehicle with an abused tennis starlet, an amnesiac press officer, an Ehrlichmanic chief of staff, a secretly virtuous but still sexy political consultant, and the Republican candidate himself, Marlon Conrad, a handpicked, supposed-to-be-controllable young goof-off lieutenant governor, whose conscience got raised from the dead after an erroneous but enlightening posting to Kosovo with his reserve unit, an assignment that turned the lightweight fratboy into a media hero after a shootout with the evil Serbs. Kicked up to governor when his predecessor's hooker-loaded plane crashes in Alaska, Conrad is the party's man for the rapidly approaching election. If this is the way Florida really is (and the recent presidential election does seem to support the case), Carl Hiaasen has been holding back. At the wheel of his garish mobile HQ, with its flamboyant Orange Crush logo,Marlon shunpikes through the state's glitzless underbelly, paying his respects to the poor but noble families of his late army buddies, emerging from the boondocks every now and then for a debate with House Speaker Gomer Tatum. Oh, and there are serial killers on the loose. Too cute. Author tour
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780061842535
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 3/17/2009
  • Series: Serge Storms Series , #3
  • Sold by: HARPERCOLLINS
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 384
  • Sales rank: 59,621
  • File size: 831 KB

Meet the Author

Tim Dorsey

Tim Dorsey was a reporter and editor for the Tampa Tribune from 1987 to 1999, and is the author of fifteen novels: The Riptide Ultra-Glide, Pineapple Grenade, When Elves Attack, Electric Barracuda, Gator A-Go-Go, Nuclear Jellyfish, Atomic Lobster, Hurricane Punch, The Big Bamboo, Torpedo Juice, Cadillac Beach, The Stingray Shuffle, Triggerfish Twist, Orange Crush, Hammerhead Ranch Motel, and Florida Roadkill. He lives in Tampa, Florida.

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Read an Excerpt

Chapter One



What a difference a year makes.

It was the fall of 2001, exactly twelve months before the debate at East Tallahassee High. Marlon Conrad not only wasn't governor, he wasn't even planning on running for governor. At least not yet. Marlon was going to throw his hat in the ring in 2006, but that was a whole term away. In the meantime, he was perfectly content frittering away his days in a do-nothing political sinecure, tending to his hobbies.

It was a calm October afternoon, and a magnificent tarpon broke the surface of the water. It twisted in midair, trying to throw the hook, and landed back in the ocean with a grand crash. Then up again, tail-walking for its life.

Marlon worked fast with the joystick. He clicked the trigger, easing drag, finessing the tarpon on his computer screen in Silver King Xtreme Fishing.

There was a knock at the door, distracting Marlon, and the fish broke the line. It poked its head from the water and stuck out its tongue before disintegrating off the screen.

"Damn!" He swiveled in his chair. "Come in!"

The door to the office opened. There was gold lettering on the outside: MARLON CONRAD, LIEUTENANT GOVERNOR. In walked a buxom southern belle with poofy blond hair, Babs Belvedere, Marlon's fiancée in an arranged marriage between two of the state's most powerful families.

She wore a transparent pout and held out an index finger. "I have a splinter."

"Another one!" said Marlon, turning back to the computer and hitting the "cast" button on thejoystick.

"You don't love me anymore."

"Foolishness!"

It wasn't exactly a lie. He never had loved her.

The fish took the bait and jumped on the screen. Marlon zigged and zagged with the joystick.

Babs set a large box on the corner of his desk. She held her injured finger in Marlon's face. He pushed her hand out of the way and tried to recover with the joystick, but the damage was done. The fish stuck its tongue out again.

"Damn!"

He turned to Babs, her finger still outstretched.

"Kiss it and make it better," she demanded. Now the pout was real.

"Oh, all right." He gave it a quick peck, and her mood boomeranged to glee. "Guess what?" she said, pulling up a chair, plopping down and slapping both her knees in excitement. "I bought a new puppet!"

She took the case off his desk and placed it in her lap and opened it. Inside was a big frog, the newest in a long line of wooden marionettes that filled the shelves in Babs's bedroom. The source of all the splinters.

"Just what you need -- another puppet."

"You don't respect my art," said Babs, expertly manipulating the frog's strings with both hands. Barely moving her lips: "Ribbit, ribbit, ribbit."

"You possess genius," said Marlon, hitting the "cast" button again.

She actually did have some ability, and could now throw her voice short distances at will. The daughter of Periwinkle Belvedere, she was Miss Tallahassee 2001 and runner-up for Miss Florida. Babs easily could have been Miss Florida, too. She had become a finalist based on the strength of her ventriloquist act in the talent portion of the pageant, but she blew her final question, becoming flustered and saying she wanted to end world peace and promote illiteracy in the Third World.

The scheduled marriage was considered a deal-maker by the capital's movers and shakers. It would consolidate power and grease the skids for all kinds of ecopolitical alliances. Marlon thought she was an airhead.

He still hadn't found the proper way of telling anybody he didn't want to marry her. In the meantime, of course, he had taken the sex. Who wouldn't? What a cheesecake! But now, even that had stopped. Both knew why, and they didn't want to talk about it. Marlon had become sexually traumatized. On a recent evening, he had been going down on Babs when her vagina greeted him with the voice of Howdy Doody.

Babs made the frog hop across Marlon's desk. "Ribbit, ribbit..."

There was another knock at the door.

"Interruptions!" said Marlon, flinging the joystick aside.

Standing in the doorway with a leather organizer was Marlon's chief of staff, Gottfried Escrow. "Sorry, but your appointments are waiting. We really have to get the schedule moving."

Escrow pointed out the door into the lobby. In a row of chairs against the wall, under a giant oil painting of "Two-Fisted" Thaddeus Conrad, sat a conga line of older men in tailored suits. At the head of the line was a local construction magnate facing multiple investigations for shoddy workmanship and fraud. He arose, handed the chief of staff an unmarked envelope, and went inside.

The man took a seat across the desk from the lieutenant governor and placed his hands humbly in his lap. "I told my wife: For justice we must go see Marlon Conrad!"

"Two of your new roofs collapsed after light rain. A girl was hospitalized."

"I am but a simple businessman..."

Behind him, the chief of staff was giving Marlon the high sign to speed things up.

"I'll see what I can do," said Marlon, standing.

The man clasped Marlon's right hand in both of his and shook it earnestly. "Thank you! Thank you!" -- bowing repeatedly as he backed out of the room.

Three appointments later, Escrow came in the office holding a large laminated map mounted on foam board.

"What's that?"

"It's the new voting district we've been working on. I need you to okay it. You're chairman of the party's redistricting committee."

"Work, work, work," said Marlon, squinting at the prop. "Details?"

"We cut a deal with the Black Caucus and cobbled together a gerrymandered district that would be ninety-six percent African-American. Surprisingly, the five surrounding districts...

Orange Crush. Copyright © by Tim Dorsey. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 38 )
Rating Distribution

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 38 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 14, 2012

    Serge Pomemto, love it.

    The best of Serge Storm series. Serge at his best behavior, un-ententionally of course.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 29, 2002

    This book is a hoot!

    This is one of the funniest books I've read in a long time. It is also a highly outrageous and irreverent view of contemporary politics. I highly recommend this book!!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 6, 2011

    Loved it LOL funny

    Need a good laugh and this book delivered. The author was recommended by the Border's cashier

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 9, 2009

    Orange Crush -- Standard Tim Dorsey

    This may be my favorite Tim Dorsey book so far. The off-beat characters are fun, and the plot twists don't disappoint. I would recommend the book to anyone who likes a fun read involving detective-ish fiction set in a tropical climate.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 3, 2003

    Orange Crush Delivers!

    One of the most outragous books that you could read.It has so many twists and turns your head will go around the world and back again.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 27, 2013

    highly recommend

    I have read almost all of Dorseys' works. Which psychiatric hospital is he confined to so that I may send him chocolate and cigarettes? Absolutely entertaining.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 17, 2012

    Barkclan territory

    Stay off

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 28, 2012

    not his best

    A good read, but not up to the standard of "Roadkill" or "Hammerhead". Serge is mellower in this one, and I'm not sure I like him as much as when he's more erratic. Still, Dorsey fans (which include me) will enjoy!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 20, 2012

    Did not like

    Suked

    0 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 29, 2004

    Dorsey has done better

    Triggerfish Twist is much better. The thing that bugs me about this book and a few others is when Dorsey goes off on a politically correct tangent and 'strikes a courageous blow' for whichever downtrodden group he happens to be thinking about at that moment. If he just stuck to the all-out, full-throttle, unpretentious insanity that makes him a great writer, and lay off the heavy-handed preaching, this would have been an outstanding novel. As it is, it's still worth reading, especially Coppola the filmmaker and the bizarre Brazilian assassin.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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    Posted November 26, 2010

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    Posted June 7, 2012

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    Posted November 24, 2009

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    Posted December 1, 2012

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 2, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted December 21, 2011

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 26, 2012

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 28, 2010

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 29, 2011

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    Posted December 31, 2010

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 38 Customer Reviews

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