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Florida Roadkill (Serge Storms #1)

3.77 of 5 stars 3.77  ·  rating details  ·  5,017 ratings  ·  441 reviews
The rabid fans of Florida Roadkill have been clamoring for answers: What happened to the hyperactive spree killer and fanatical Florida folklorist Serge A. Stormes and that $5 million in laundered drug cash? Now they can check into the sleazy Hammerhead Ranch Motel to find out.One of the last old beach motels in the path of an advancing column of glistening new condominium ...more
Hardcover, 273 pages
Published September 25th 1999 by William Morrow & Company (first published 1999)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Kemper
After years of reading John D. MacDonald, Elmore Leonard, and Carl Hiaasen, I was kind of burned out on Florida as a setting for crime novels. I’d never tried a Tim Dorsey book because of this, but I’m glad I finally got around to it because Serge Storms is one of the funnier characters I’ve read in a while.

This is definitely the Florida that Hiaasen and Dave Berry have warned us about with a cast of colorful and eccentric characters most of which are criminals and/or assholes engaging in random
...more
Jeffrey Keeten
I couldn't shake the feeling that Dorsey wrote this book with the full intention of pushing everything Hiaasen wrote to the next level of wacky mayhem. Dorsey makes the wildest most deviant scene ever concocted by Hiaasen seem plausible. Characters are killed, maimed or lost in the maze of plotting so quickly that I was challenged frequently to keep up with who is who and what was what. Subplots are conceived, abandoned, and reignited many, many pages later. When thinking about the plot of this ...more
Algernon

I am the native and this is my home. Faded pastels and Spanish tiles constantly slipping off roofs, shattering on the sidewalk. Dogs with mange and skateboard punks with mange roaming through yards, knocking over garbage cans. Lunatics wondering the streets at night, talking about spaceships. Bail bondsmen wake me up at three A.M. looking for the last tenant. Next door, a mail order bride is clubbed by a smelly man in a mechanic's shirt. Cats violently mate under my windows and rats breakdance
...more
Will Byrnes
If you like your heroes to be psycho-killers, your action fast, your drugs considerable, constant and diverse, appreciate learning creative ways to extinguish human life, enjoy a large body count, appreciate a twisted, but informative guided tour of Florida, and don’t mind laughing out loud as you read, Florida Roadkill is the book for you. Dorsey opens with a bit of carnage, circles around to show us how it came to be, then zooms ahead with even more. There are drug dealers, drug users, radio b ...more
Sharon
I've read everything Tim Dorsey has written to date. He is my all time FAVORITE Florida Author. He writes about the real Florida, the seedy motels on Nebraska Ave., the Everglades, takes you on a WILD ride on an Amtrak Train through Florida, gives a hilarious (it could be funnier if it weren't so damned true) account of Florida Politiks, and has the most irresistible anti-hero in the form of Serge Storms.

He even takes on Gasparilla, my oh my, this author is my hero for sure.

He has a bit of Quent
...more
Emily
Good lord. My dad sent me this book to read and boy did it suck. I only finished it because we went to Florida to visit him and my stepmom and I was worried they'd ask me about it. If you enjoy books about whores, copious drug use, Florida history, gross violence and stupid people, then you can borrow my copy.
Chuck
If you've ever had a person pull up next to you at the light with their stereo blaring so loud you can barely hear yourself think, or wondered how crooked CEOs who gut their company's pension plans only to build tax protected mansions in exotic locations live with themselves, then you need to read Tim Dorsey's series of novels starring Serge A Storms. Dorsey isn't the first to mine Florida for wacky ripped from the headlines stories and set them loosely within the confines of a crime novel, but ...more
Stephen
3.0 to 3.5 stars. This was my first book by Tim Dorsey and I thought it was fresh, original and a lot of fun. Basically, the book is a out a large number of "not so good" guys and "very bad" guys chasing around Florida for $5M in laundered drug money. However, that doesn't begin to describe the actual book because it is all about tone, dialogue and an up close look at the seedy under-belly of the Sun Shine State. Think "Pulp Fiction" meets "The Hangover" and you will be in the right ballpark of ...more
Adam
You can only continue reading this review if you promise to leave you judgements at the door...everyone deserves to see how the other side lives...and writes. I generally lean towards non-fiction books - from the political side over to the self-help genre - but every once in a while I will venture into the world of fiction, and Dorsey's early work is first-rate.

So, now we can get down to business...this was the first in a ten book series (might be more now) of one of the most underrated fiction
...more
Rex Fuller
You have to have a strong taste for satire to enjoy this. Dorsey treats Florida as the "ultimate trash state." Examples: retirees revolting against their developer's rip-offs retaliated, resulting in one of the developer's employees walking back to the office "with his thumb super-glued up his butt." A convenience store chain named "Addiction World." Levi's 501 jeans and a can of Fix-a-Flat used as murder weapons (separately). World Series ticket scalper murdered for two tickets. You quickly rea ...more
Madeleine
Yep, that was almost exactly what I wanted from a late-spring-vacation read: a fast-moving plot, a nonchalantly inane and irreverent approach. The author betrayed his journalistic roots with some of the best fake headlines and forcefully buoyant televised-news banter ever, and I loved every second of those moments. That, the tone of the novel and the Floridian locale were its biggest appeals and strongest assets for me. It did read like a first novel; that being exactly what this book is, I can' ...more
Venkat Satya
Tim Dorsey has created a great character in Serge A. Storms.Serge A. Storms is a character that readers will remember for some time. Mentally unbalanced and a font of trivial pursuit-esque knowledge.
If Love Movies "Snatch","lock stock and two smoking barrels movie" and "Pulp Fiction",Then you should try it.
Colleen
At first I was puzzled by the scene switching, but later, as the characters began to converge I was delighted to see how the author wove the story together. Serge is a brilliant psychopath and Coleman is about as bright a sidekick as any stoner. The devil is in the details and this book is devilishly good. If I ever to a road trip in Florida, I'm making notes. The Dry Tortugas are the last of the keys, populated by park rangers and the occasional biology students. Serge and Coleman take mayhem o ...more
Mauoijenn ~ *Mouthy Jenn* ~
I was told I should read these books. I had been putting them off and I saw my library had almost all of them in, so why not. It started off okay, got a little crazy and then I just lost interest. No offense. Just not really for me.
Jamie
I really enjoyed this wacky comedy about crazy and/or murderous characters and their violent criminal hijinks in south Florida.

There are a couple of nice guys, old high school buddies on vacation together, but they're the misfits in a story largely filled with thugs, frauds, bullies, sociopaths, drug addicts, thieves and murderers. Most of the characters fit into more than one of those categories. The violence is all played for laughs, but the book is enough to make you keep a wary eye out the n
...more
Aaron
In this book, Tim Dorsey manages to out-Carl-Hiaasens Carl Hiaasen and out-Dave-Barrys Dave Barry. I'm listening to it as an audiobook while I exercise, and it's laugh-out-loud, achingly funny. People at the gym or those I pass on the sidewalk during my runs must think they are next to a crazy person. Narrator George Wilson's performance is superb and adds an extra dimension to the story. The ranting, maniacal voice which he uses for Serge is so over-the-top, you won't be able to help but to guf ...more
Dipanjan
Gosh, this book is SOMETHING. Florida Roadkill is an outrageously dysfunctional book about dysfunctional people with dysfunctional relationships. It's one of the funniest books I have read in years. It's hilarious. The plot has multiple layers and engages you with a pace that moves in the most complexly built parallel planes from the word go. Tim Dorsey paints a picture of a delightfully dysfunctional Floridian world and assembles the most whacked out dysfunctional characters in the plot. I have ...more
Gabriel
Like Pulp Fiction the movie?
Have you ever thought, "I wonder what Pulp Fiction would be like in Florida?" Well that is the basis of Florida Roadkill.

It's a mash up of multiple story lines all coming together and telling an over all tale.
Entertaining but not the greatest execution.
Overall I did like the story and most of the characters.
Everyone has "something" about them and all but two are not really nice people.
There's sex and plenty of violence but nothing to over the top in my opinion. Defi
...more
Snotchocheez
Jan 20, 2009 Snotchocheez rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Carl Hiaasen fans
This author, Tim Dorsey, was recommended to me by a friend of mine, with who I share a common interest in Carl Hiaasen's work. "Florida Roadkill" is Tim Dorsey's first novel, I believe, and it's clear that Hiaasen is a big inspiration to this guy's writing. Both Hiaasen and Dorsey write about eccentric characters in Florida, in a genre probably best described as "bizarre crime fiction". The crimes (murders, primarily) that take place are hilariously strange, even more strange than those that Hia ...more
Derek Dowell
We can now trace the exact date that Carl Hiaasen become the reigning “old” master of Florida adventure writing, the safe, mainstream alternative to a new breed of even edgier, more over-the-top writer. It was August 1999 and that was when Florida Roadkill by Tim Dorsey hit the bookshelves. This hyperactive tale of sociopaths, alcoholics, retirement communities, and cocaine strippers stumbling around the south Florida coastline, killing off bad guys in particularly gruesome and creative fashion, ...more
Ensiform
A large cast of crazies, bikers, con men, killers, and corrupt politicos interact amongst dozens of plots and subplots, converging on an ill-gotten five million dollar insurance payout (a crazed killer has cut off a corrupt orthodontist’s insured hand) that accidentally gets hidden in the car of two uninvolved high school friends on vacation. Among the dozens of characters, the most memorable are Serge and Coleman, the former a maniac with an obsession for Florida history and violence, the latte ...more
Alpha
"The debut album by Tim Dorsey is probably the most entertaining opening album I have read in a long time and I can second that with so many others who have read this book too. This novel - and all the novels after - are very reminiscent of Carl Hiaason's novels but instead of being a dark satire, it is more of a very upbeat, somewhat skirting the fine line of slapstick, comedy writing and thus makes it worth the read even though it is supposed to be satire as well.

This novel also introduced one
...more
Lance Charnes
Mar 23, 2012 Lance Charnes rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fans of South Florida crime fiction; readers looking for a belly-laugh
Tim Dorsey is Carl Hiaasen on hallucinogens. While Hiaasen still makes some effort to tie his characters to whatever passes for reality in Florida, Dorsey has cut his mooring lines entirely and sailed off into an antimatter version of the Sunshine State that's still entirely recognizable, just twisted like a Moebius strip.

Yes, there is a plot (sort of). It serves mostly as a framework for non-stop riffs on development, corruption, psychosis, ecological despoliation, tourists, local news and bad
...more
Linda
As a Floridian, it is always fun for me to read stories that give me a glimpse of places I know and have been to. Tim Dorsey's characters not only live here, but Serge Storms is fanatical about Florida's history, the flora and fauna, and every little thing that a Florida insider might learn from growing up here - and then some. This book is a wild and rollicking travelogue of Florida. The Serge Storms books are a hilarious mix of Carl Hiiasen and Jeff Lindsay - unique comedy, lots of action, adv ...more
Brian Steele
I'm still telling everyone about Tim Dorsey's brilliant novel "Florida Roadkill." If you want a healthy dose of equal parts laughs and depravity, this book has it. There are drugs, trivia, spastic killings, prostitutes, millions of dollars... and that's pretty much in the first chapter. Serge is a mad prophet, incredibly intelligent, psychotically brutal and possessing just about every disorder you can name. His partner in crime is Coleman, (so named after his daddy locked him in a cooler when h ...more
Michelle
Funniest thing I've read in awhile. In the vein of Hiaasen and Barry, but turning the manic Florida craziness up to 11. It's like Fear and Loathing in South Florida, but wackier, and ALL the characters are Hunter S. Thompson. And as someone who grew up all over the Sunshine State, let me tell you...it all rings true. The whole damn state is just one weird-ass carnival, packed to the rafters with 51 flavors of loony. If you think that's an exaggeration, then you haven't really been there. I don't ...more
Kallierose
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Robert
I really enjoy the books that I call the Florida funnies. These are books that seem to take a particular interest in poking fun at the bizzare world of Florida. Books written by authors such as Carl Hiaasen and Dave Barry. That being said this book was not as enjoyable as the previous mentioned authors works. Around page 63 I was almost ready to throw in the towel. The book was so disjointed and finding a thread that ran through the numerous shots put out by Dorsey was very difficult. He moved h ...more
Nick Cato
I gave this four stars for the humor level: there are several scenes that had me in stitches. I'd rate the story two and a half stars, only because the "everyone's after the money" thing has been done so many times before.

Regardless, FLORIDA ROADKILL delivers on the humor, and there's PLENTY of it. Serge and Coleman may be criminal scum-of-the-earth, yet they're so funny when they're not killing hookers with bottles of Fix-A-Flat you can't help but cheer them on. Like a good episode of SEINFELD,
...more
Libby
I laughed so hard my ribs hurt. I laughed so hard my cat ran away and hid under the bed. I laughed----NO, I howled like a hyena with a hotfoot. This is one of the funniest books I have ever had the pleasure to read. Set in Florida, the land of the totally bewildered, we follow the adventures of Coleman, the stupid crook, Serge, the smart but looney-tunes crook, the slimy insurance embezzler, four Caribbean cocaine smugglers, George Veale the gross alcoholic dentist, Minimum, the sleazy Mobile Ho ...more
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Tim Dorsey was born in Indiana, moved to Florida at the age of 1, and grew up in a small town about an hour north of Miami called Riviera Beach. He graduated from Auburn University in 1983. While at Auburn, he was editor of the student newspaper, The Plainsman.

From 1983 to 1987, he was a police and courts reporter for The Alabama Journal, the now-defunct evening newspaper in Montgomery. He joined
...more
More about Tim Dorsey...

Other Books in the Series

Serge Storms (1 - 10 of 18 books)
  • Hammerhead Ranch Motel (Serge Storms, #2)
  • Orange Crush (Serge Storms, #3)
  • Triggerfish Twist (Serge Storms, #4)
  • The Stingray Shuffle (Serge Storms, #5)
  • Cadillac Beach (Serge Storms, #6)
  • Torpedo Juice (Serge Storms, #7)
  • The Big Bamboo (Serge Storms, #8)
  • Hurricane Punch (Serge Storms, #9)
  • Atomic Lobster (Serge Storms, #10)
  • Nuclear Jellyfish (Serge Storms, #11)
Hammerhead Ranch Motel (Serge Storms, #2) The Stingray Shuffle (Serge Storms, #5) Triggerfish Twist (Serge Storms, #4) Hurricane Punch (Serge Storms, #9) Orange Crush (Serge Storms, #3)

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“There was no Disney World then, just rows of orange trees. Millions of them. Stretching for miles And somewhere near the middle was the Citrus Tower, which the tourists climbed to see even more orange trees. Every month an eighty-year-old couple became lost in the groves, driving up and down identical rows for days until they were spotted by helicopter or another tourist on top of the Citrus Tower. They had lived on nothing but oranges and come out of the trees drilled on vitamin C and checked into the honeymoon suite at the nearest bed-and-breakfast.
"The Miami Seaquarium put in a monorail and rockets started going off at Cape Canaveral, making us feel like we were on the frontier of the future. Disney bought up everything north of Lake Okeechobee, preparing to shove the future down our throats sideways.
"Things evolved rapidly! Missile silos in Cuba. Bales on the beach. Alligators are almost extinct and then they aren't. Juntas hanging shingles in Boca Raton. Richard Nixon and Bebe Rebozo skinny-dipping off Key Biscayne. We atone for atrocities against the INdians by playing Bingo. Shark fetuses in formaldehyde jars, roadside gecko farms, tourists waddling around waffle houses like flocks of flightless birds. And before we know it, we have The New Florida, underplanned, overbuilt and ripe for a killer hurricane that'll knock that giant geodesic dome at Epcot down the trunpike like a golf ball, a solid one-wood by Buckminster Fuller.
"I am the native and this is my home. Faded pastels, and Spanish tiles constantly slipping off roofs, shattering on the sidewalk. Dogs with mange and skateboard punks with mange roaming through yards, knocking over garbage cans. Lunatics wandering the streets at night, talking about spaceships. Bail bondsmen wake me up at three A.M. looking for the last tenant. Next door, a mail-order bride is clubbed by a smelly ma in a mechanic's shirt. Cats violently mate under my windows and rats break-dance in the drop ceiling. And I'm lying in bed with a broken air conditioner, sweating and sipping lemonade through a straw. And I'm thinking, geez, this used to be a great state.
"You wanna come to Florida? You get a discount on theme-park tickets and find out you just bough a time share. Or maybe you end up at Cape Canaveral, sitting in a field for a week as a space shuttle launch is canceled six times. And suddenly vacation is over, you have to catch a plane, and you see the shuttle take off on TV at the airport. But you keep coming back, year after year, and one day you find you're eighty years old driving through an orange grove.”
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“That, and the untended mental health problems. We have all these insane armed hobos coming from the Midwest, usually Ohio. Fuck Ohio.” 9 likes
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