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When Elves Attack

(Serge A. Storms #14)

3.80  ·  Rating details ·  2,231 ratings  ·  288 reviews
“The undisputed king of the comic crime novel.”
Providence Journal

Nobody does Florida weirdness quite like Tim Dorsey! Case in point: When Elves Attack, the New York Times bestselling author’s twisted Christmas present to his legion of adoring fans who can’t get enough of thrill-killer and Sunshine State historian Serge A. Storms, the most endearing psychopath since Dexter. Dorsey offers t/>—Providence
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Hardcover, 194 pages
Published October 25th 2011 by William Morrow (first published January 1st 2011)
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Average rating 3.80  · 
Rating details
 ·  2,231 ratings  ·  288 reviews


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Will Byrnes
May 28, 2014 rated it liked it
It's May 2014, and we just had our first day in the mid-eighties here in NYC this week. There will be plenty more before much longer. Nothing makes one pine for winter more than sweating incessantly and enjoying the enhanced fragrance of garbage and sewage that graces city air when things start to cook. So, a perfect time to jump into a Christmas book.

Tim Dorsey delights in sending up his home state of Florida. In When Elves Attack, the 14th tale in the series, he takes on the winter holiday season in that mos
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TK421
Mar 21, 2012 rated it really liked it
Serge A. Storms, the fictional vigilante created by Tim Dorsey, is one of the most psychotic characters I have ever had the pleasure to read about. He is delusional, methodical, vicious, hilarious, and even a bit sentimental. You see, the best way to really understand Serge is to compare him to that lovable psychopath Dexter--you know, the serial killer of serial killers. But whereas Dexter probably wouldn't stop killing if all the Bad Guys decided to become nice, Serge would take a day off, sme ...more
Brian
Feb 05, 2016 rated it did not like it
I always enjoy Tim Dorsey's books when I am on the beach. They are perfect reading for that locale. They are funny, easily plotted, and Dorsey is a clever writer. "When Elves Attack" meets none of these simple standards.
The book has a rushed to market feel to it, and one wonders if his publisher was just trying to capitalize on the holiday themed book bonanza. The text is half the length of a normal Dorsey novel, and the change is not for the better. As a result of the apparent rush, the b
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Ange H
Dec 17, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is my fifth or sixth Tim Dorsey novel. They are definitely strange, but I am a sucker for Serge, the lovable serial killer and his perpetually stoned sidekick, Coleman. Their adventures galavanting around Florida are always both entertaining and disturbing. I was curious how these two could factor into a Christmas story. Well, it was the usual insanity and only tangentially tied to the holiday.

It's impossible to summarize the plot of a Serge and Coleman book, you just have to go with it. I
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Wanda
”Wait up!” Coleman skipped alongside Serge. “But I still don’t get this elf thing. How can we be elves if the mall didn’t hire us?”
“And that’s what everyone thinks.” Serge skipped and waved at curious shoppers. “But there’s no law that says you can’t just unilaterally decide to be an elf, buy a costume and hit the mall. That’s the whole key to life: Fuck the conventional wisdom on elves.”
“So that makes us…”
“That’s right: wildcat elves.”
“What are they going to say?”
S
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Bandit
Dec 24, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Exactly the sort of raving madness I was looking for in a Christmas Eve. read. I haven't read Dorsey and I'm not sure I'd commit to his crazed modern day Quixote and Panza duo righting the wrongs in the ever so wacky sunny Florida, but mainly because I'm not a fan of series in general and I'm not sure this particular sort of lunacy doesn't get tiresome after a while. For a one off though it was great fun, living up to its title thoroughly and just as completely absurd as it advertises. Serge (th ...more
John
Aug 22, 2019 rated it really liked it
So the Providence Journal thinks Florida's Tim Dorsey is “The undisputed king of the comic crime novel,” eh? Their reviewer might want to sample some Donald E. Westlake or, just within Florida, Carl Hiaasen and even Edna Buchanan. Okay, so Buchanan's more a crime novelist with a splendid sense of humor than an out-and-out comedy crime writer, but I think the point still stands. Karen Kijewski, Kinky Friedman and even Janet Evanovich (even though I don't personally get along with her work) might be wort ...more
Matt
Dec 14, 2011 rated it it was ok
Faldon's Five Thoughts: 1) Even at just 192 pages, this is a looong way to go for this payoff. I could see this working as a short story maybe, but the plot is too flimsy to last nearly 200 pages. 2) Marquis Luis always jokes he can't see a sequel because he missed part one. I'm not sure there is a good joke here, but if there is it seems like you need the history of these characters to get it. 3) The only thing that halfway redeems this book are some of Serge's lines. They aren't all good, but ...more
Yeva
Dec 14, 2011 rated it really liked it
I couldn't resist this book. Serge and elves made me want to sing "It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas" while hanging my head out a train window going cross country. The book makes you want to cut up and do something fun. Mr. Dorsey never disappoints. When Elves Attack was great.
Cindy
Aug 30, 2016 rated it really liked it
Like the strange series - this holds up but isn't my favorite. Some profanity. Well narrated.
Johnny
Nov 16, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: humor
Sometimes, you just find yourself in the mood for something that’s “wrong.” You can’t help yourself from being amused by something that really shouldn’t be funny, something that is totally against what you see yourself as being or ever wanting to be. When Elves Attack is “wrong” in that bent, disgusting sense. Drug use, profanity, murder, and torture are all part of the ingredients of this “instructive” Christmas tale. Imagine the most innocuous human being possible and then, imagine him being admired ...more
Derek Dowell
Feb 22, 2012 rated it liked it
Tim Dorsey, you sly marketing son-of-a-gun. Just in time for the holidays recently passed, you whipped out a short book, barely over 200 pages, and gave it a title no Serge fan could possibly resist – When Elves Attack: A Joyous Christmas Greeting from the Criminal Nutbars of the Sunshine State. Even worse, you slapped a $10 Kindle price tag on it and I was the big, dumb sucker in the front of the line who bit hard at the bait.

Ah well, shame on me for ignoring my instinct. To be hone
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Mike
Dec 01, 2011 rated it did not like it
First, let me say that I'm a fan of Tim Dorsey and his quirky works. His stories can be summed up by asking, what would happen if Raoul Duke and Dr Gonzo went on a killing spree in Florida? However, as entertaining as this can be, I've found that if you've read one Serge book you've read them all.


That brings me to this latest novel that happens to throw in a Christmas spin. I guess the whole "let's make Christmas naughty cuz that's hilarious" joke just doesn't impress me. Maybe back in the 70s
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Trish
Jan 01, 2015 rated it liked it
Another free holiday ebook downloaded for the Kindle. This one had me hoping for something along the lines of Carl Hiaasen, it fell short of that level. This is part of a series and don't think that helped this one stand on it's own. It feels rushed and the mystery not as developed as you'd like or wish for, because the solution is obvious. That said ... this author and series MIGHT be worth exploring. Sometimes the best you can say is this doesn't stink. It's worth the free download and piqued ...more
Don
Nov 29, 2014 rated it did not like it
Stupid. Read two pages of the prologue and just put it aside. The last person to attempt made it to page 17 before returning to the library, assuming the dog eared page 17 means they never went back to reading.

I did like the Shirley Temple quote on the dedication page..."I stopped believing in Santa Claus when my mother took me to see him in a department store, and he asked me for my autograph."
Trisha
Aug 13, 2015 rated it did not like it
I knew right from the get-go, page 1 of prologue, that I was not going to like this book. I just didn't find it funny.
Tom
(This is a modified rerun of "When Elves Attack," which everyone--including you--needs to take a couple hours to read during the holidaze. It will help you. Sometimes, I just need a book to make me smile. "When Elves Attack" is that kind of book.)

Blurb (from Goodreads): "I'm dreaming of a Serge Christmas . . .

"It's ho, ho, ho time in this hilarious and wacky Florida holiday tale, featuring bighearted psychopath Serge Storms and his sidekick, Coleman. Like Santa, Serge kno
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Ron Arden
Dec 05, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Just what I needed, a Christmas story about Serge, Coleman and a few of their nutty friends. This is a short holiday tale that ends so magically you can't believe it's actually about our favorite serial killer Serge.

Serge and Coleman wind up back in the lives of their friends Jim and Martha Davenport, who we first met in Triggerfish Twist. Serge thinks Jim is the model of stability, manhood and fatherhood and he wants to study and be like him. Martha wants to kill Serge and Coleman f
...more
Paul Pessolano
Dec 08, 2011 rated it really liked it
“When Elves Attack” by Tim Dorsey, published by William Morrow.

Category – Mystery/Thriller/Comedy

Most of you who have been following my reviews know that I think very highly of Tim Dorsey’s books and his two main characters, Serge A. Storms and his partner Coleman.

All of the stories take place in Serge’s beloved Florida and he is full of trivia facts concerning the Sunshine State.

This year Tim sends Serge and Coleman on a Holiday romp that starts w
...more
Jeff Yoak
I'm a long-time fan of the Florida novel. I'm particularly fond of Carl Hiaasen whom outsiders might mistake as a teller of tall tales, but whom we true Florida sons identify as a simple historian. Those of us long-time residents of Florida who have worked in industries such as telemarketing and security know that such people and events really do characterize life in that beautiful state known as "America's wang."

If Carl Hiassen is a literalist, Tim Dorsey exaggerates ever so slightly to pr
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Tom Croom
Dec 30, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I got this book right around the Christmas holiday in 2011, but I never really felt up to reading it after that season ended. Enter: December of 2012 - I decided to drive to see my father for Christmas (since my wife would be out of town.) The trek to his place from mine? About six hours round trip...

Perfect for a short audio book.

Thus I stepped back into Dorsey's twisted world of Serge A. Storms and ultra-stoner Coleman. The problem is, his "twisted world" is, sadly, based on the real world of/>Perfect
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Doreen
Apr 09, 2012 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: all who appreciate kooky, unbelievable humor!
Recommended to Doreen by: Mr. Masterson (library patron)
Evidently, I'm one of the few people on Earth who, until now, had not enjoyed the slapdash, crazy shenanigans of Serge Storms, the books main character.

This book is waaaay too funny! I found myself chuckling aloud to the silly, unpredictable escapades contained within. Who knew that psychotics and murderers could be so darn funny?

This is a perfect book to read if you need something light and thoroughly enjoyable that requires no mental exertion. Plenty of reviews are written here on
...more
Melki
Dec 06, 2011 rated it really liked it
Serge is off his meds and determined to "take Christmas big!" That involves writing wrongs and doling out some justice to disgraced hedge fund managers, obnoxious mall cops and would be parking lot assailants. Along for the ride is Coleman, his dopey, doped-up sidekick, and a cast of characters on loan from Dorsey's other books. Throw in copious amounts of eggnog, a couple of elf suits, Xtreme caroling, and some exploding Legos, and you've got yourself a Christmas to remember.
Linda Lovely
Dec 01, 2012 rated it liked it
While I enjoyed some of the misadventures--especially with the old ladies--I wasn't able to connect/empathize with the main character. I like dark humor a la Carl Hiaasen, but this was a bit too dark for me. We read it as a light Christmas option for my book club, and the opinions were about evenly divided. Half thought it was hilarious, half couldn't stand it. I fell in the middle.
Frank
Feb 01, 2014 rated it did not like it
Library audiobook. I think it was mentioned by the NYT Book Review crime column. It was dumb. Carl Hiassen's Florida novels often have some weird, violent characters off to the side, in Elves the nutty, violent to the point of multiple murder psycho is the central character. Maybe listened to enough to rate a 1.5, but I still go with the minimum.
Lee Ann
Dorsey as irreverent as always. This was a revisit of Triggerfish Lane and the Davenports and made me chuckle. It felt to me like it was "I need something for the holidays" and cranked out a little faster than normal. It was fun and just what I needed after some pretty heavy reading this month.
Jeanne
Sep 26, 2015 rated it liked it
Unfortunately, this was not nearly as funny as Electric Baracuda. We do reconnect with some old friends, but just not much else here. Just so-so for me, 5 out of 10.
Elizabeth
Jul 05, 2016 rated it liked it
An entertaining read.
Nadine Jones
I got to page 115 of 192 and I just couldn't take it any more. I'm not a fan of slapstick comedy mysteries, and this one is even slappier than most. Plus with cardboard dialogue!
Robin
Dec 11, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: seasonal, humor, audiobook
A zany cast of Floridian characters makes the Yuletide bright. To begin with, 93 year old Edith announces that she’s given up sex, but later admits that she wouldn’t kick a certain someone out of bed. Psychotic law-breaking do-gooder Serge, along with perpetually stoned sidekick Coleman, tries to make things right in their criminal world. After all, some crimes, misdemeanors, and interactions that are none of their business are just not right. Who better to think up a punishment that the perpetr ...more
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Madison Mega-Mara...: When Elves Attack 1 5 Sep 04, 2013 10:31AM  

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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

Other books in the series

Serge A. Storms (1 - 10 of 22 books)
  • Florida Roadkill (Serge Storms, #1)
  • 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)
“You open a door and find a midget, and there’s no way you can be in a bad mood. It’s just not possible.” 3 likes
“Here's the plan: We do everything, all the traditions, and we do it grander than anyone ever dreamed! Here are the houselights, which will require extra generators so we don't smash the power grid, the holiday music CDs that will need waterproof outdoor concert speakers, the train set with extra boxes of tracks to connect all the rooms of the house, the toys where we forget the batteries, several gingerbread house kits we'll combine to form a mansion, DVDs of all the classic Christmas specials to run nonstop, mistletoe for all the doorways, the manger scene with a little Jesus that glows in the dark to emphasize the Holy Spirit third of the Trinity because he's the shy one who gets the least press, and all the presents we'll wrap together and give each other as Secret Santas.” 2 likes
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