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Tim Dorsey is a Floridan author known for his series of 'comedic crime novels' mostly taking place in and around his home state. The novels follow the story of Heroic Sociopath (or Anti-Hero, depending on your view) Serge A. Storms, a history lover and incredibly inventive killer, along with his many companions.
List of Serge A. Storms novels:
- Florida Roadkill (1999)
- Hammerhead Ranch Motel (2000)
- Orange Crush (2001)
- Triggerfish Twist (2002)
- The Stingray Shuffle (2003)
- Cadillac Beach (2004)
- Torpedo Juice (2005)
- The Big Bamboo (2006)
- Hurricane Punch (2007)
- Atomic Lobster (2008)
- Nuclear Jellyfish (2009)
- Gator A-Go-Go (2010)
- Electric Barracuda (2011)
- Pineapple Grenade (2012)
This book series contains examples of:
- A Man Is Not a Virgin: Averted hard with Johnny Vegas, the Accidental Virgin.
- Anti-Villain: Serge is a Serial Killer, and in some stories openly admits it. What saves him from Complete Monster status are A) his victims tend to be jerkasses, B) his genuine love for his home state, and C) his determination to protect innocent lives.
- Anyone Can Die: Warning: If you ever show up in one of Dorsey's novels, you will die. Painfully.
- Berserk Button: Woe to any Jerkass who breaks or ruins a piece of Florida history while Serge is watching.
- Breaking the Fourth Wall: The Author's and Publication Notes at the end of each novel go into incredibly bizarre descriptions, and in one book Serge and Coleman try to sneak their way through the Author's Notes to avoid getting arrested in the novel proper.
- Butt Monkey: Johnny Vegas, every time.
- Disproportionate Retribution: Most of the victims are Complete Monsters, but some don't seem to deserve death.
- Serge's victims tend to be greedy or rude, or worst of all in Serge's view vandalize some part of Florida's history or ecosystem.
- Geeky Turn On: Serge and history. Especially Florida history. Whenever Serge is bedding a hot woman, he can't stop talking about whatever historic topic he's currently fixated on.
- Heel Face Turn: The young Republican Governor at the beginning of Orange Crush had been groomed since birth to become the next great (corrupt) conservative leader of the state. He's pretty much a spoiled rich brat even in his thirties. Events conspire to send him off to Central Europe during the Balkan civil wars where he bonds with poor-class troops and a badass sergeant, who all die in a heavy engagement before the governor gets rescued. His shell-shock wakes him up and he tries to become a better governor, but events (and the political status quo) keep screwing him over...
- Hot Mom: Serge tends to bed a lot of middle-aged or older women, especially in Stingray Shuffle.
- Molly in Electric Barracuda for a more literal example. Also doubles as an Action Mom
- Immune to Drugs: Just about everyone except Serge, who uses no drugs whatsoever.
- Including his medications...
- Except in Gator-A-Go-Go where Serge accidentally ate a tray-full of Coleman's "herb-enhanced" brownies.
Serge: Coleman! How... Do... I... Turn... This... Shit... OFF!...
- Inspector Javert: Detective Mahoney, a homicide cop assigned to the string of deaths that Serge leaves all across Florida. A parody of noir gumshoes, Mahoney can never get enough solid evidence to nail Serge for his murder spree or in other circumstances because Serge helps stop an even worse criminal.
- Karma Houdini: Serge. The police (and Mahoney) can barely keep up with him.
- Karmic Death: Most of Serge's victims are killed in elaborate death traps that reflect the jerkass actions they committed to earn Serge's wrath.
- For example, a rude Hummer owner blasting out rap music from his car gets tied up within an empty skyscraper that Serge converts into the world's largest speaker... and then Serge plugs in his guitar...
- Kavorka Man: Serge is described as reasonably attractive, but my god does he get the ladies.
- Supposedly his mental issues give him incredible charisma.
- And stamina.
- Laser-Guided Amnesia: Serge suffers it at the beginning of Orange Crush. Even though he spends most of the novel thinking he's someone "sane", he still goes off on his occasional rampages whenever someone threatening his beloved state (and the reformed governor he's trying to get re-elected) shows up on his radar.
- Meta Guy: Serge's mental issues apparently make him able to perceive the fourth wall, and even break through it on occasion, such as the latter half of Pineapple Grenade.
- No Celebrities Were Harmed: Some of Serge's victims are loosely based on national and state-level celebrities, who tend to receive the appropriate Karmic Death related to their terrible on-air personas.
- Only in Florida: Dorsey, like certain other Floridian humorists, loves this trope.
- The Other Darrin: Coleman gets replaced by Lenny pretty early in the series when Dorsey kills off Coleman by drug dealers after Serge's stolen insurance money. But Dorsey quickly regretted the move and has Coleman return by explaining his death in the most contrived way possible. Lenny removes himself by getting arrested and placed under house arrest, only showing up for later cameos.
- Punny Name
- Recurring Character: City and Country, two college girls fleeing from a crime they didn't commit. Their massive drug consumption (the two women are worse than Coleman) is why - despite the great sex - Serge keeps dumping the pair on the side of the road first chance he gets.
- Also Johnny Vegas.
- And the E-Team.
- And the Davenports.
- Characters from an early book will cameo in the following story to provide some continuity.
- Rube Goldberg Device: Most of Serge's murder devices.
- Shout-Out: Any movie or book based in Florida will get referenced by Serge.
- Shown Their Work: Dorsey knows his Florida history, and a lot of what Serge talks about actually happened in the state.
- Some plots involve specific events that take place in Florida. In the first novel Serge and Coleman attend Game 7 of the 1997 World Series. Orange Crush and Hurricane Punch followed real-life events like Election 2000 and the 2004 hurricane season that saw four major storms smash into Florida.
- A Simple Plan: Serge will have some harebrained scheme to either generate money, steal money, kill bad people, or promote the great state of Florida. Sometimes all four at once. They never count as Batman Gambit or Xanatos Gambit because they're really not planned out well. And yet, they work.
- Guest-starring villains of a particular novel have some scheme going on, only for Serge or the overall craziness of Florida itself ruining the scheme halfway through the novel.
- The innocent people who get wrapped up in Serge's plots or the bad guys' plans have a simple plan themselves: try to survive to the last page of the book.
- The Stoner: Coleman or Lenny, depending on the book.
- They meet in Gator a Go-Go, and soon build the world's largest bong out of an aquarium.
- A lot of other characters are heavy users, as well.
- There Is No Kill Like Overkill: How most of the visiting bad guys in a story overreact when their plans go awry. Subverted with Serge, who only kills those he feels deserve it. While his deathtraps are elaborate, they only target the intended victim. And even then, he gives the victim a way out, usually.
- Those Two Guys: Serge and Coleman in the first book, where surprisingly they aren't really protagonists.
- Time Skip: The series isn't written in chronological order. For example, the amnesia Serge suffered in Orange Crush wasn't explained until Stingray Shuffle which was published two novels later.
- And some novels will rely heavily on flashbacks.
- Villain Protagonist
- Writer on Board: Dorsey attended Auburn University. One of his villains is a former football player from the University of Alabama, Auburn's rival. Cue one very unsympathetic (and idiotic) villain.