Nuclear Jellyfish, by Tim Dorsey (William Morrow 2009)
Nuclear Jellyfish is my first Time Dorsey novel, but it won’t be my last. I haven’t laughed out loud like this reading a book since, well, I don’t know when. I laughed so hard I couldn’t get the words out to tell my husband why I was laughing, which may reveal something about my sense of humor as this book will never be made into a movie for the Hallmark Hall of Fame Collection. Oh, no. Serge, the main character, is back with his latest get-rich-quick scheme involving tourism reviews for Internet travel services, only no one has warned the travel services that Serge sees it as his solemn civic duty to provide Florida tourists with tips on how not to get killed while on vacation. Unsurprisingly, Serge’s web presence attracts the attention of Agent Mahoney – “back from another involuntary mental commitment” – and the chase up and down the Florida coast is on!
Dorsey’s fiction is not for everyone. Serge has his own code of morality that you’ll either respect in a Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy sort of way or condemn outright as it involves creative ways of making bad people pay – permanently. In Serge’s world, Lisa Nowak – remember the astronaut who drove from Houston to Orlando while wearing diapers to cut down on travel time in order to stalk/kidnap her sometime boyfriend and his lover? – deserves to rest on the highest pedestal because you just have to respect that level of commitment. But who can resist a story that involves a grudge match between coin and stamp collectors, diamonds, the NASCAR superstore, Lynyrd Skynyrd, and John Travolta?
If “Pulp Fiction” didn’t give you the vapors, give Nuclear Jellyfish a try – it’s a hoot!