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The Stingray Shuffle Book Review Summary

Detailed Plot Synopsis of The Stingray Shuffle

In Stingray Shuffle, Dorsey's fifth book, but only fourth chronologically, the author finally wraps-up the storyline begun in Florida Roadkill and continued in Hammerhead Ranch Motel.

Serge A. Storms, psycho-killer and history-buff, and his spaced-out partner Lenny are back, still searching for the elusive silver suitcase containing the proceeds of his insurance fraud.

After two novels, the suitcase has changed hands eight times and now resides in the hands of Paul, the passive-aggressive private eye, and a Hemingway-impersonator named Jethro, but it does not reside there long, as a whole new cast joins the adventure, including:
-Booze, Books, and Broads, a book club made-up of single-moms who all shared a dorm at the University of Florida.
-Ivan, a former KGB hitman, and his two teams of Russians who are hot on Serge's trail, but with more aptitude for self-destruction than murder.
-Eugene Tibbs, a former blues-musician-turned-restroom-attendant, who patterns his life on an out-of-print mystery novel.
-Ralph Krunkelton, a former author, now a crab fisherman. His books are resurrected from the remainder pile by a drug-pushing scheme involving a bookshop as a front.
-The Great Mez-Mo, Spider, Bruno Litsky, Frankie Chan, Xolack the Mentalist, Steppenwolf, and DeeDee Lowenstein as Carmen Miranda, two-bit nightclub performers who made in medium touring the flea-bag circuit.

All of these characters, plus the suitcase, are thrown together in this manic novel that races from the southern-most Key to the streets of New York and back to Miami on a wild ride aboard the Silver Stingray, an antique Amtrak locomotive hosting a two-day "mystery theatre" that mysteriously mimics the events being played-out under the noses of those aboard, finally leading to a jarring and unforgettable conclusion.
This report prepared by James Craver





Morrow, Feb 2003, 24.95, 303 pp.
ISBN: 0060520450

Mr. Grande of the Mierde Cartel hires the Russian Mafioso to recover the five million drug dollars that Serge A. Storms and his almost as wacky partner Lenny Lippowics stole and stashed in the Hammerhead Ranch Motel that no longer stands due to a hurricane. Though killing is like apple pie for Serge, the former KGB agents do a good job of eliminating themselves in the nearby swamps without his assistance.

Though he does not have time to fool around if he wants to enjoy his new hobby trains, Serge makes time to insure one of the Russians dies from a hole in one. He also rids himself of some pesky frat idiots for defacing his beloved train, the Rambler. Still the Russians are coming again and chase Serge to Times Square for the ball to drop. On whose head is now the question as now the Cosa Nostra and Jamaicans join the fray that frantically ends up on a murder mystery ride aboard the Silver Stingray heading to Florida.

As frenetically crazy as ever, THE STINGRAY SHUFFLE is a wild ride up and down the East Coast with the usual high homicide count, several in amusing ways. The story line moves at a rapid pace with lunatics at every stop seeking the suitcase of loot. Serge is as wacko as ever so that readers receive his usual feral trip and his support cast seems more like escapees from an asylum. Tim Dorsey has written another delightfully hectic spin that fans will enjoy, but insist he go decaf in the future so one can catch a breath or two.

Harriet Klausner
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner








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Chapter Analysis of The Stingray Shuffle

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Plot & Themes

Composition of Book descript. of violence and chases 15%Planning/preparing, gather info, debate puzzles/motives 40%Feelings, relationships, character bio/development 25%How society works & physical descript. (people, objects, places) 20% Tone of story    -   very humorous    -   very upbeat Time/era of story:    -   1980's-1999    -   2000+ (Present) Kid or adult book?    -   Adult or Young Adult Book The crook is....    -   criminals killing each other    -   Get treasure/money from another criminal Crime Thriller    -   Yes Crime plotlets:    -   search for gems/treasure/money Is MAIN CHARACTER an EVIL criminal?    -   Yes General Crime (including known murderer)    -   Yes Who's the criminal enemy here?    -   drug dealers If story PRIMARILY about main chr. being hunted...    -   hunted by killer/stalker

Main Character

Gender    -   Male Profession/status:    -   killer    -   thief/con artist Age:    -   20's-30's    -   40's-50's Ethnicity/Race    -   Hispanic    -   Russian Unusual characteristics:    -   Mentally ill

Setting

United States    -   Yes The US:    -   Southeast City?    -   Yes City:    -   New York    -   Miami Misc setting    -   moving train

Writing Style

Accounts of torture and death?    -   generic/vague references to death/punishment    -   very gorey references to deaths/dead bodies and torture Explicit sex in book?    -   Yes What kind of sex:    -   vague references    -   actual description of sex Unusual forms of death    -   asphyxiation    -   dropped from large heights    -   frying (cooking)    -   frying (electrocuted)    -   run over    -   flamed    -   drowned    -   perforation--bullets    -   blunt clubbing (like seals)    -   exploded into bits Unusual form of death?    -   Yes Amount of dialog    -   significantly more dialog than descript    -   significantly more descript than dialog

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Tim Dorsey Books Note: the views expressed here are only those of the reviewer(s).
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