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Tropical Depression (Key West, #4)
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Tropical Depression (Key West #4)

3.9  ·  Rating details ·  683 Ratings  ·  48 Reviews
Murray Zemelman—lingerie mogul, a.k.a. the Bra King—wakes up one morning, starts his car in the confines of his airtight garage, and contemplates the worst. But instead of doing himself in, he pops a Prozac and hits the road, waving good-bye to his trophy wife, the thriving brassiere business, and the streets of New Jersey for good. He's headed to Florida, home of his firs ...more
Paperback, 360 pages
Published September 1st 2000 by (first published 1996)
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Rating details
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Mike French
Feb 07, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
My first Laurence Shames novel and I guarentee it won't be my last. Laurence Shames writing is in the tradition of my Favorite Florida authors-Carl Hiaasen,Paul Levine and Tim Dorsey. I found it a bit darker than other 3 authors, but very enjoyable read!
Apr 19, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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May 05, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2000
Oy! It's January and bitterly cold up here in the Northeast. Perfect time to settle into a slapstick caper novel that takes place in Key West. And that, in a nutshell, describes Laurence Shames's style of writing.
Murray Zemmelman, the famous lingerie mogul, otherwise known as the Bra King, sits in his garage in his running Lexus trying to decide if he's going to work or committing suicide. Suddenly he's got a strong will to live, so much so that he can't even wait for the garage door to complete
Adam Wiggins
Nov 03, 2012 rated it liked it
A fun and easy-to-ready little story that manages to be smart despite the goofy and bumbling characters.

The best part, by far, was the writing. The author manages vivid descriptions of the mundane, for example:

"The glare became a glow that caressed objects and displayed them proudly."

Or metaphors like:

"His high spirits were extremely fragile, less a part of him than an overlay, a cheery suit of clothes that could at any moment detach itself and walk away without him."

Plus an incisive perspective
Lance Carney
Jun 17, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What do you get when you cross a Prozac popping Jewish “Bra King”, an embittered Native American, a crooked politician, the Florida Keys and the Mob? A darn funny story about characters trying to find themselves amongst a plot to start a legal gambling casino on tribal land.

This is the fourth Lawrence Shames book I’ve read, and having read them in order I was delighted to see the characters, ex-Mafioso Bert the Shirt (and his little Chihuahua, too) and reporter Arty Magnus appear from earlier b
Richard Thompson
Murray Zemelman, the Bra King, is depressed, but the Prozac must be kicking in because suddenly decides to leave his old life behind and drive to Key West to start a new one.

In Key West, he is finding it hard to fill up his days so he decided to take up fishing, and through fishing he meets Tommy Tarpon, the last surviving member of the Matalachee tribe and heir to the ancestral lands — a tiny island off the coast surrounded by mangrove swamps and infested with killer bugs. Murray is a meddler a
May 18, 2018 rated it it was ok
Dear Mr. Shames: stop trying to imitate Carl Hiaasen, Tim Dorsey and Dave Barry. Also, do your research before writing. Case in point: learn your psychiatric medications. Antidepressants don't work for acute anything. Even a cursory glance at an encyclopedia article would have revealed that. Then there are the characters, like the psychiatrist, whose presence is almost entirely unnecessary, who seem as if they're there just to rack up a word count. Perhaps try reading some Hemingway as an exampl ...more
Jun 10, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: florida, 2017
I like, don't love Laurence Shames, just enough to keep reading. It's obvious that he prefers the transplanted New Yorker in Key West story. This is like Elmore Leonard lite. Enjoyable, but nowhere near as much as Carl Hiaasen or Tim Dorsey. The characterizations of the protagonists were delightful.
David Lotz
Apr 07, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A good fun light read. This book, like the others in the series, is a joy to pick up, with funny, interesting characters and a subtle wit. I'll continue reading this series as a fun diversion to other topics.
Jan 15, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, florida, series
Shamus does what he does, taking someone from the tri-state area and butting him up against Key West. Add a native American, a mafioso, a casino, lingerie, and a little dog to that. Smart commentary on the world and silly at the same time.
Geoffrey Gelb
Jul 07, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A good book, great story, wonderful characters. Brings Key West into your living room. As good as a Hiaasen or Dorsey! Definitely worth the time.
Aug 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing
funny quick read
Jon Koebrick
A light, fun, interesting little tale. This series is like a guilty pleasure with wacky lovable characters inKey West.
Jan 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
The finest dirty realist story I've read in a long, long time. I'm hooked and ready for more.
Feb 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing
So far the very best in the series.
Oct 09, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Entertaining. Predictable. Stereotypical characters. While I'll take a Hiaasen first, this is a fun beach read if you appreciate the insanity that is, Florida.
This book didn't tax my brain, but it was entertaining. There were some great lines and scene set-ups, but there were also a few poorly chosen descriptive adjectives that should have been edited out. Overall, an amusing read. Murray and Tommy made a great pair, and the sleazy state senator and the mob boss played their parts well. Very satisfying ending, though much is left to the reader's imagination.
Aug 26, 2015 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
The book had some good "one liners" and a few funny passages, but was rather dumb overall. A little too "sweet" in places and the ending was predictably schmaltzy. Interesting characters but so similar to characters from other books about South Florida to be almost stereotypes. In fact the book seemed very much like several others that I have read that I wondered if I was repeating. But no, just very similarly themed!
Jan 14, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Murray Zemelman is the Bra King of Manhattan and one day he gets into the car and drives to Key West, Florida. Maybe he'll learn to fish. Soon he's caught up in Indian rights to sacred grounds. Only Shames could pull this kind of plot off with any credibility and he does. When you look up the word "character" in the dictionary, you see a picture of the people in his books. If you've never met Bert the Shirt and his little dog, go find a Shames and treat yourself. Even if it is set in Florida.
Mar 01, 2012 rated it really liked it
This is the first book I've read of Laurence Shames and I must say that he is quite entertaining! Sort of a cross between a Tom Corcoran and a Carl Hiassen. Great story, entertaining characters and a story set in Key West. Gotta love it!
Bonnie Irwin
May 23, 2012 rated it liked it
An entertaining little novel, replete with an "Indian," a mob boss, the requisite corrupt politician, and of course the "Bra King." Nice local touches as well. An amazing number of books seem to feature someone who wants to get away from it all and move to the keys.
May 31, 2012 rated it it was ok
Ugh. I can't make myself read this. Another loser. The plot seems promising, but something about the writing makes me want to keep putting this one down. I got about 1/3 of the way through, but I can live without knowing how it ends.
Richard Katz
Loved this book! Lawrence Shames is drop dead funny, which is enough reason to read his works. This is my favorite so far. But there's more. His characters are credible, likeable, and his plots move. I dunno, is there more?
Judging by the cover of this book I was expecting a funny over the top Florida story and, while it had some of those elements, it also had a bit of a darker edge.
Jeff Yoak
All in all, an ok book. It was amusing, if less so than some earlier Shames, and good as a thriller.
(E) This wasn't the best book, but it was fun to read this while I was in Key Largo.
Apr 29, 2015 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Sep 01, 2008 rated it liked it
Liked it. Was a while ago.
Theodore Kinni
Jan 18, 2016 rated it liked it
Very fast and funny read set in Key West. Reminds me of Carl Hiaasen's books and Jimmy Breslin's The Gang That Couldn't Shoot Straight.
Jennifer H
Jul 21, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very funny, good beach book
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Laurence Shames has been a New York City taxi driver, lounge singer, furniture mover, lifeguard, dishwasher, gym teacher, and shoe salesman. Having failed to distinguish himself in any of those professions, he turned to writing full-time in 1976 and has not done an honest day’s work since.

His basic laziness notwithstanding, Shames has published twenty books and hundreds of magazine articles and es
More about Laurence Shames

Other books in the series

Key West (1 - 10 of 13 books)
  • Florida Straits (Key West, #1)
  • Scavenger Reef (Key West, #2)
  • Sunburn (Key West, #3)
  • Virgin Heat (Key West, #5)
  • Mangrove Squeeze (Key West, #6)
  • Welcome to Paradise (Key West, #7)
  • The Naked Detective (Key West, #8)
  • Shot on Location (Key West, #9)
  • Tropical Swap (Key West, #10)
  • Chickens (Key West, #10.5)

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